14452 Tue, 05/13/2008 - 12:45pm
EL PASO, Texas–Net income for Helen of Troy rose by 22.8 percent for its fiscal year ended Feb. 29.
The company achieved this result on a net sales gain of just 2.8 percent for the year, to $652.5 million. Gerald Rubin, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a company statement that Helen of Troy’s strong bottom-line growth was due to its efforts to reduce expenses as a percentage of sales. Rubin said selling, general and administrative expenses fell from 32.9 percent of sales in the prior fiscal year to 31.8 percent. On a dollar basis, selling, general and administrative expenses dropped by 0.6 percent to $207.8 million, which helped boost operating income (earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation) 5 percent to $73.9 million.
Helen of Troy managed a small sales gain overall for the fiscal year, in spite of what Rubin said was “the challenging retail environment”—which brought about a 1.9 percent decrease in net sales for its personal-care products, by far its largest category, which finished the year at $488.4 million. Net sales for the company’s housewares segment, in contrast, climbed 19.7 percent to $164.1 million.
Rubin also said the U.S. retail environment will continue to be difficult for at least the next two quarters, but that the company will continue its strategic initiatives in terms of controlling costs and maintaining its inventory levels.