Playtex reports mixed results

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Skin care, Revenue

Playtex Products has reported a steady increase in its profits and
a more pronounced improvement in its net income as the benefits of
its restructuring plan start to kick in, but strong skin care
growth is weighed down by a disappointing quarter for the feminine
hygiene business.

The company said that sales for the first quarter were up 3 per cent to $180.9m, against $176.0m for the corresponding quarter in 2006. This figure was highlighted by an 8 per cent increase in its biggest division, skin care, but counterbalanced by a 6 per cent fall in feminine hygiene sales. Net income rose even more sharply, up from $9.4m in the first quarter of 2006, to reach $12.1m, with $2.6m in charges being taken into account, representing a jump of 36 per cent. Playtex chairman Neil DeFoe, referred to the results as 'solid', both in terms of the sales and net income, adding that the company's focus on improving the fundamentals of the business was the main reason behind the figures. Last month Playtex announced the acquisition of the Hawaiin Tropic sun care brand, after it bought up all the outstanding shares in Florida-based business Tiki Hut Holding Company, owner of brand. Playtex bought the company for $83m, in a move that will eventually boost sales in its skin care segment to a predicted figure of $380m a year. "The acquisition of the Hawaiin Tropic is in line with our core category focus and it enables us to expand our presence internationally, in our fastest growing segment - skin care,"​ said DeFoe. "The acquisition will also help further diversify the profitability of our total company portfolio." ​ Bearing in mind the objectives for the company's skin care division, the first quarter results showed that skin care sales grew by 8 per cent compared to a year ago, to $82.8m. The company said that this was down to strong sales for Banana Boat sun care, together with Wet Ones wipes, which was further boosted by new lines for each brand. Sales for feminine care fell by 6 per cent to $51.3m, stressed by what the company claimed was a planned reduction on the marketing of Gentle Glide brand, as well as two discontinued tampon lines. In the infant care division sales grew 3 per cent to reach $46.8m, highlighted by new product launches in late 2006. Looking ahead, the company said it believes sales will increase by $95 - $100m for the full year 2007, taking into account an additional $50m in sales from the addition of the Hawaiin Tropic brand.

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