Helen of Troy Reports Q3

Helen of Troy Limited reported 2008 third quarter sales of $185,619,000, versus sales of $210,348,000 in the same period in 2007, a decline of 11.8%. Sales for the nine months ended Nov. 30, 2008 were $484,165,000, versus sales of $508,442,000 for the previous year, a decline of 4.8%. According to the company, the decline in sales reflects the impact of the deteriorating global economic conditions on the retail consumer, a compressed and highly promotional holiday shopping season in the U.S., and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against other currencies in which the company transacts sales.

Net sales in the personal care segment for the third quarter decreased 13.9% to $140,318,000, compared with $162,992,000 for the same period in 2007. Net sales in the personal care segment for the nine month period ended Nov. 30, 2008 decreased 9.0% to $353,258,000 compared with $388,306,000 for the same period last year.

"We believe that recent credit market instability, extraordinary stock market volatility, increases in unemployment rates and the uncertainty regarding the impact and extent of U.S. government intervention on behalf of the financial services and automotive sectors has fueled consumer uncertainty," said Gerald J. Rubin, chairman, CEO and president, Helen of Troy Limited. "We believe these factors, along with the Linens 'n Things liquidation and the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, have adversely affected sales in our consumer markets for both the quarter and year-to-date.

"We continue to review and adjust our business activities to address a rapidly evolving economic environment, while managing liquidity and continuing to control expenses. During this difficult period we believe we are well positioned financially to continue to seek prudent opportunities to grow our business. Our efforts will be to continue our focus on expense reductions while striving to increase sales and gross margins with new product introductions."

Additional financials and charts are available in the "Investor Relation" section of the company's site.

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