Alberto-Culver reports high sales growth for Q4

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sally beauty Marketing

Alberto-Culver has reported high sales growth and solid operating
profits for the fourth quarter and fiscal year, just under a year
after spinning off its Sally Beauty retail business.

The owner of the TRESemme, Nexxus and VO5 brands reported sales of $421.5m for the three months ending September, 30, an increase of 14.5 percent on 2006. Operating profit after interest income rose 8.4 percent to $46.8m and operating margins fell slightly to 11.1 percent from 11.7 percent. For the fiscal year, sales grew 10.2 percent to $1.54bn and operating profits increased 3.6 percent to $113.0m. Profits were affected by restructuring costs of $34.6m related to the separation of Sally Beauty from Alberto-Culver, which was completed in November 2006. Net profits for the year fell to $78.3m from $205.3m, largely due to the inclusion of the Sally Beauty's results in last year's figure, which was accounted for as discontinued operations and amounted to $125.3m. In the current quarter, Alberto-Culver, which is a leading producer of ethnic hair products, posted higher than expected sales figures according to analysts polled by Reuters. The company is seeking further growth after investing $77.6m in advertising and marketing in the latest quarter, an increase of 45.0 percent on last year. "Our strong performance this quarter and this year has provided us with the opportunity to continue to make significant advertising and marketing investments to drive our momentum and future growth,"​ said CEO James Marino. As part of Alberto-Culver's marketing strategy, the company announced the addition of virtual features to its website last week. Visitors will now be able to upload photographs of themselves and then test out whacky hairstyles and radical new looks using a virtual hair salon. Equipped with their new selves users of the site can enter the Ultimate Flirting Championship, "a tournament where the sexy win big".

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