Yankee Candle Posts Fiscal 2008; Names New CEO

Yankee Holding Corp. and The Yankee Candle Company, Inc. announced total revenue for the fourth quarter 2009 of $264.3 million, a 7.2% decrease from the prior year fourth quarter. The fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 consisted of 14 weeks as compared to 13 weeks for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007. The decrease in revenue, according to the company, was a result of the deteriorating economic environment, a decrease in sales in its home specialty channel within its domestic wholesale business, driven by the bankruptcy of Linens-N-Things and, to a lesser extent, a decrease in retail comparable store sales. The company incurred a net loss of $398.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 compared with net income of $38.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.

For the fiscal year ended January 3, 2009, the company incurred negative EBITDA of $293.7 million, compared to positive EBITDA of $139.4 million for the year ended December 29, 2007.

"Given the unprecedented macroeconomic environment, which impacted consumer purchasing behavior during the important fourth quarter, our teams worked very hard to mitigate the challenges we and other consumer facing companies were faced with," said Craig Rydin, chairman and CEO, Yankee Holding Corp. "While these economic and consumer spending headwinds ultimately caused us to fall short of our internal revenue projections, we believe our efforts enabled us to nonetheless achieve relatively strong performance in this challenging environment."

The company also announced that Rydin has been named executive chairman, and Harlan M. Kent will become president and CEO, effective Oct. 1, 2009.

"I am both pleased and proud to announce the appointment of Harlan Kent as our next CEO," said Rydin. "Harlan is extremely well- qualified for this role, and has been instrumental in the growth and success of Yankee Candle since joining the company in 2001, first as the head of our wholesale division and then as president and COO. He is a strong and experienced leader with tremendous business acumen and a deep knowledge of our customer and the markets in which we compete. Harlan is well positioned to take Yankee Candle to the next level of our growth story, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him and the rest of our talented management team to help him in any way that I can."

"The appointment of Harlan Kent as CEO is being made in accordance with the company's ongoing succession planning process," said Robin P. Selati, managing director of Madison Dearborn Partners and a member of the board of directors of Yankee Candle. "We are extremely pleased that Craig Rydin will continue to be actively involved in the leadership and direction of the company in his capacity as executive chairman. Craig's leadership, talent and passionate stewardship of the Yankee Candle brand since joining the company as CEO in 2001 allowed Yankee Candle to deliver consistent revenue and profit growth, and further enhance its position as the market leader in premium scented candles and home fragrance."

Kent joined Yankee Candle in June 2001 as senior vice president, wholesale. He was promoted to president in July 2004, and was promoted to his current position of president and COO in December 2005. Before joining Yankee Candle, Kent was senior vice president and general manager of the wholesale division of Totes Isotoner Corporation.

In addition to the transition of Kent, the company announced that Bruce L. Hartman, the current senior vice president, finance and CFO, has been promoted to the position of executive vice president, chief administrative officer and CFO.

More in News