EL PASO, Texas–Helen of Troy finished a record fiscal year with an increase of 46 percent in fourth-quarter net income, to a company record $24.4 million.
The fourth-quarter bottom line boosted Helen of Troy’s net for the entire fiscal 2011 to $93.3 million, up 30 percent over fiscal 2010. Net sales for the quarter, which ended on Feb. 28, rose 56 percent to $237.1 million—pushing the company’s fiscal-year top line to $777 million, an increase of 20 percent. All of these totals were new records as well.
A portion of the sales gain was attributable to the addition of the health-care/home-environment product line of Kaz, for which Helen of Troy finalized the acquisition on Dec. 31. This segment posted $69.1 million in fourth-quarter sales. Meanwhile, Helen of Troy’s personal-care sector reported an 11 percent growth in sales, while the housewares unit’s sales rose 9.1 percent.
Helen of Troy’s gross margin in the quarter declined 100 basis points to 43.8 percent, reflecting lower margins in the health-care/home-environment segment. Selling, general and administrative expenses jumped 52 percent in dollars but declined 80 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 30.5 percent.
Gerald Rubin, Helen of Troy’s chairman, president and CEO, said the new fiscal year will bring the further integration and development of the Kaz product line. Rubin also said the company will focus on continued expansion of the OXO housewares line, investments in product development to increase market share, sourcing and product cost-management initiatives to offset increased commodity and transportation costs, and productivity initiatives to slim expenses.