GARDEN CITY, N.Y.-A boost in operating expenses offset a small gain in sales to put Lifetime Brands in the red in its fiscal second quarter.
The company’s net loss in the quarter, which ended on June 30, was $568,000, compared to net income of $559,000 in last year’s second quarter. The operating-expense picture included a 10.1 percent gain in dollars for selling, general and administrative expenses, which also picked up 193 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 26.7 percent. Lifetime also reported an increase of 4.8 percent in distribution expenses.
Net sales rose 2.1 percent to $97 million, including $3.9 million in net sales from Fred & Friends, the novelty housewares manufacturer which Lifetime acquired last December. Gross margin increased 23 basis points to 37.5 percent.
Jeff Siegel, Lifetime’s chairman and CEO, cautioned against comparing the company’s quarterly results with prior periods, “as our sales in any one period, especially in the first half of the year, can be heavily influenced by the timing of promotions and the rollout of new programs. Our outlook for the third and fourth quarters remains positive, based on our healthy order flow, which is being driven by increased retail placement, rollouts of new products and programs, strong promotional activity, the inclusion of Fred & Friends and the improving U.S. economy.”
Siegel added that Lifetime now expects sales for the full year to rise by from 5 to 7 percent.