Helen of Troy Limited announced that its third quarter sales increased 8% to $213 million versus sales of $197 million in the same period of the prior year. Third quarter earnings before income taxes increased 7% to $25.5 million, and third-quarter net earnings were $22 million or $0.72 per fully diluted share. Sales for the nine months ended November 30, 2006 increased 8% to $491 million, and net earnings for the first nine months of 2006 were $40 million or $1.28 per diluted share, down from $1.34 per share in the same period of 2005.
For the third quarter, sales in the company's personal care segment increased 8% to $173 million. Net sales in the personal care segment for the nine month period increased 8% to $390 million.
"We are pleased with our sales increases for the quarter and for the year," said Gerald J. Rubin, chairman, CEO and president, Helen of Troy Limited. "Gross margin pressure in both the personal care and housewares segments, and expenses associated with the OXO warehouse transition and related shipping difficulties, impacted our overall operating margins and negatively impacted our net earnings for the quarter and year. The increased expenses related to operating two warehouses will continue through this year's fourth quarter, but we do not expect to incur those additional warehouse expenses in the next fiscal year. For the fourth quarter ending February 28, 2007, we currently expect overall sales to be in the range of $135 to $140 million, compared to last year's fourth quarter sales of $134.5 million."