Alberto Culver Reports Sales; Profit Growth First Half 2011

Alberto Culver reported net sales for the second quarter 2011 increased 6.1% to $408.2 million compared to $384.8 million in the prior year second quarter. Net sales for the first half of fiscal year 2011 increased 8.8% to $813.6 million compared to $747.8 million in the prior year first half.

"I am very proud of our incredibly talented and dedicated team who, despite being faced with challenging market conditions and the pending Unilever transaction, continued to build momentum on our brands and deliver strong results," said V. James Marino, president and CEO, Alberto Culver.  

In the U.S., sales increased 1.9% in the second quarter due to strong growth in branded beauty care, partially offset by significantly lower custom label manufacturing sales. International sales on a reported basis increased 12.0% (the net effect of foreign currency fluctuations accounted for approximately 4.4% of the growth), reporting growth in every region in which the company operates.

The company's gross profit margin was 51.5% in the second quarter compared to 52.2% in the prior year second quarter. The decrease in gross margin was primarily due to higher input costs. Advertising and other marketing investments in the second quarter of $68.9 million were flat versus the prior year second quarter.

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