EL PASO, Texas–First-quarter sales at Helen of Troy reached a record $145 million, 3.4 percent ahead of the first quarter of its last fiscal year.
However, net earnings for the personal-care products manufacturer fell 45.1 percent to $5.6 million, due to impairment charges and a bad-debt charge for uncollectible accounts. Without these factors, net income totaled $13 million, up 28.9 percent.
The first-quarter sales gain included a 15.3 percent increase in sales in Helen of Troy’s housewares segment, whose sales were $38.5 million. Sales in the personal-care segment, the company’s largest, slipped 0.3 percent to $106.5 million.
Along with the record sales total, the company noted that it had reduced the ratio of selling, general and administrative expenses to sales from 32.6 percent in last year’s first quarter to 31.4 percent this year. Also, operating income before the one-time charges listed above rose 21.9 percent to $17.4 million.