Elizabeth Arden Q1 boosted by strong international sales

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US color cosmetics and fragrance player Elizabeth Arden has posted a strong first quarter, boosted by international sales and positive currency translations.

The company said that net sales during the period increased by 6.6 percent to $303.5m, which represented an increase of 3.2 percent when taking into consideration the positive impact of currency translations.

Net income almost doubled, up from $4.9m in the corresponding period last year, to $9.2m. This figure reflected the jump in sales, a lower effective tax rate and a higher gross margin, which was partially offset by higher selling and administrative costs.

Rebranding and international sales boost the peformance

In an investor meeting, CEO Scott Beattie highlighted that its rebranding initiative had helped to boost sales of Elizabeth Arden branded products by 14 percent during the quarter , while sales of skin and color cosmetics rose by 22 percent.

Sales of two of its best selling fragrance brands, Britney Spears and Elizabeth Taylor, both grew by 14 percent and 16 percent respectively.

Despite the continued economic uncertainty, which is particularly hitting the developed markets in Western European and North America, the company believes that a combination of rebranding and strong sales in developing countries, will continue to drive future results.

Asia and travel retails lead the way

On a geographic basis, sales in the company’s international division grew by 16.5 percent, or 7.5 percent in constant sales, a figure that was mainly driven by gains in Asian markets and travel retail sales.

In contrast, sales in North America grew by 1.6 percent, which represented a gain of 1.1 percent in constant sales, with the increase being attributed equally to both the mass and prestige category.

“Looking forward, despite the uncertain economic environment globally, we remain confident that our identified initiatives to drive sales increases across our brand portfolio and improve margins will result in strong cash flow and earnings growth for fiscal 2012,"​ Beattie said.

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