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Inter Parfums, Inc. reported that net sales for the first quarter 2009, compared to first quarter 2008, declined 27% to $90.4 million. European-based operations achieved sales of $82.0 million, down 26% from $110.6 million; sales by U.S.-based operations declined 33% to $8.4 million from $12.6 million. Operating margins were 11.4% of sales compared to 15.5% in the first quarter 2008. Net income declined 35% to $7.3 million from $11.1 million.
“As we previously reported, the global economic crisis and its impact on discretionary consumer spending were certainly factors in the comparable quarter decline in sales, but there were other reasons as well," said Jean Madar, chairman and CEO, Inter Parfums. "The strength of the U.S. dollar relative to the euro had the net effect of depressing 2009 first quarter sales by about 6% as compared to last year. Also, significant growth in the first quarter of 2008 as compared to the first quarter of 2007 made for a difficult comparison. Burberry The Beat for women, our largest ever global fragrance launch, commenced in the first quarter of last year. In addition, sales by U.S.-based operations surged 31% from the first quarter of 2007 as we added a new international element to our domestic business.
“We are in the midst of our 2009 new product launch schedule for our European-based operations which began with the global rollout of the men’s version of Burberry The Beat. With regard to U.S.-based operations, last month Close, a new Gap fragrance, was launched at approximately 550 Gap stores and roughly 175 Gap Body stores nationwide with international distribution into 5,000 doors on schedule for the second half of 2009. In August 2009, we have new fragrances for men and women scheduled for launch at Banana Republic stores in North America with international distribution soon after. As we’ve reported, Black Fleece, the new Brooks Brothers New York collection for men and women, our signature bebe fragrance for women, and a new fragrance for New York & Company are all in our rollout schedule this year.”