EL PASO, Texas-Helen of Troy broke records for both its bottom and top lines for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending Feb. 28.
The company posted net income of $31.5 million for the quarter, up 7.5 percent, and $115.7 million for the year, an increase of 4.8 percent. Net sales in the quarter rose 10.9 percent to $326 million, and totaled $1.3 billion for the fiscal year, a gain of 9 percent.
Gerald Rubin, Helen of Troy’s chairman, president and CEO, said all three of the company’s operating units reported double-digit increases in net sales. Regarding the bottom line, Rubin said, “Amidst a challenging retail sales environment, we continue to diligently control our costs and increased our operating income compared to the fourth quarter of last year, even as we continued to make long-term investments in our business.”
Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 6.1 percent in dollars but shed 120 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 28.2 percent. Gross margin was down 150 basis points to 40.4 percent.
Rubin vowed that Helen of Troy would continue to invest in “organic growth” and evaluate potential acquisitions to add to its brand portfolio during the current fiscal year. “While the global economic environment is mixed,” he said, “we remain keenly focused on executing our growth strategies and controlling our costs.”