Helen of Troy restructures business operations

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care Personal care division Net profits Vice president Management

Texas-based personal care manufacturer Helen of Troy has
restructured its operations as a means of more clearly defining its
business activities in both the personal care and household
sectors.

As a result the company's sales functions have been organized into two groups, a retail personal care division and a professional division - making a clearer division between these two very different field. The move will see the two divisions headed up by new executives, with Art August appointed president of professional retail and Bart Plaumann appointed as president of the newly formed retail personal care division. Both of these appointments are internal promotions, from within the company's existing management structure. "The new senior management appointments will focus our efforts on specific market segments and allow us to respond more effectively to our ever-changing and very demanding environment," said Gerald Rubin, company CEO. "Our concentrated efforts in our market categories will allow us to provide more efficient and effective services," he added. The executive re-shuffle also includes the promiton of Michael Cafaro to executive vice president, together with the already announced promotion of Richard Dwyer to executive vice president of business operations. Back in January the company reported a strong increase in sales, but costs associated with upgrading the company's distribution and warehousing operations kept net profits down. The company said third quarter sales increased 8 per cent to reach $213.43m, against sales of $197.45m in the corresponding period last year. However, net profits, which only increased one per cent to reach $22.8m during the period. The company said that the reason for profits not increasing in line with sales was down to gross margin pressure in both its personal care and housewares segments, as well as expenses associated with the a new warehousing system for its OXO houseware business. It is predicting that for its fourth quarter sales should be in the range of $135m to $140m, compared to sales of $134.5m in the last quarter of 2005. This means that sales for the full year should be in the range $626m to $631m, a figure that is lower than the company had predicted earlier on in the year. "For the fiscal yearMarch 1, 2007, we are providing guidance of annual sales in excess of $660m,"​ said Rubin. "We believe these increases will be driven by new product introductions, reductions in non-recurring expenses, and more efficient operations."​ He added that during the year ahead the company was hoping to extend sales of Bed Head by TIGI and Tony & Guy appliances on a worldwide basis, to derive increased margins from the consolidation of its warehouse operations.

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