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Elizabeth Arden Records 6% Sales Increase, Raises 2012 Guidance

Elizabeth Arden, Inc. announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2011. The Company reported net sales of $429.9 million, an increase of 6%, as compared to the second quarter of the prior fiscal year. Excluding the favorable impact of foreign currency translation, net sales increased by 5.8%.

Net sales for the company's international business in the current quarter increased by 9.4%, or by 8.6% at constant rates, over the prior year period. Sales growth was highest in the European and travel retail and distributor markets. Net sales in North America grew by 4.4%, driven by strong growth in the company's prestige business, where net sales increased by 20%.

E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and CEO of Elizabeth Arden, Inc., commented, "We continued to expand sales of the Elizabeth Arden brand and our fragrance portfolio. Global sales of Elizabeth Arden branded products grew by 12% fiscal year-to-date with sales of the skin care and color cosmetic portfolio increasing by 20% and 16%, respectively. We are well underway with our global repositioning of the Elizabeth Arden brand that will impact almost every aspect of the brand and its products. We are in the process of presenting our plans to key accounts globally, and based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback received so far, have begun to accelerate the roll-out of the new Elizabeth Arden brand.

"In addition, the Taylor Swift fragrance Wonderstruck performed exceedingly well, achieving the No. 2 ranking among women's fragrance launches in U.S. department stores for the important holiday season, and contributed to the strong performance of our North American prestige department store business. While the global economic environment remains uncertain, we are confident that we can continue to increase the sales of our brand portfolio and improve margins to drive strong cash flow and earnings growth,” Beattie concluded.

For the six months ending December 31, 2011, the company reported net sales of $733.5 million, an increase of 6.2%, as compared to the prior year period. Excluding the favorable impact of foreign currency translation, net sales increased by 4.7%.

Elizabeth Arden also confirmed its fiscal 2012 guidance for net sales growth of 5% to 6% over the prior fiscal year and net income per diluted share of $1.90–2.00 and is raising its guidance for gross margin and now expects an increase of 200–250 basis points over fiscal 2011.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2012, the company is introducing guidance for net sales of $238–243 million, and for net income per diluted share of $0.00 to $0.04. This guidance incorporates a number of activities associated with the company's global Elizabeth Arden brand repositioning during the second half of its fiscal year and their anticipated negative impact on both net sales and profitability, including the transition of retail customers to the new Elizabeth Arden product assortment, new product packaging and formulations, and creative development costs.

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