Alberto-Culver Reports Record Fourth Quarter

Alberto-Culver Company announced record sales and record profits excluding non-core items for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2006, which ended on September 30, 2006. The company stated taht 2006 marked the 15th consecutive record sales and earnings year.

Fourth quarter 2006 sales increased 8.2% to $974.3 million while, pre-tax earnings (including non-core items) increased 11.4% to $101.1 million. Net earnings, including non-core items, increased 11.7% to $65.8 million. Diluted net earnings per share were 70 cents in the fourth quarter of 2006, after the deduction of 2 cents for stock option expense and 2 cents for fees and expenses related to the agreement with a company formed by a fund managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) to separate the company's consumer products and Sally/BSG businesses.

"During these past fifteen record years, our revenues have been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 10.7%, while our operating earnings excluding non-core items have grown at a 14.7% compounded annual growth rate, a record that we are very proud to have achieved," said Howard Bernick, CEO, Alberto-Culver. "Our consumer products group delivered another strong quarter and year. Led by Nexxus and TRESemme and behind heavy advertising investments, the consumer group finished the year with sales growth of 9.4% and operating earnings growth of 11.3%."

Excluding non-core items, pre-tax earnings in the fourth quarter increased 11.2% to $106.3 million while net earnings were up 12.6% to $70.0 million from $62.2 million in the prior year. Fourth quarter diluted net earnings per share were 74 cents compared to 67 cents in 2005 excluding the non-core items.

Sales for the 2006 fiscal year grew by 6.8% to $3.77 billion. Including non-core items, pre-tax earnings for fiscal year 2006 decreased 5.0% to $308.3 million while net earnings were lower by 2.6% at $205.3 million. Diluted net earnings per share for the year were $2.20, after the deduction of 41 cents for expenses related to the Sally transactions and 11 cents for stock option expense, versus $2.27 per share in the prior year after a 10 cent deduction for the non-cash charge relating to the conversion to a single class of stock and a 1 cent deduction related to the Sally transactions.
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