Revlon’s sales fell in the second quarter ended June 30 driven by costs associated with a restage of the Almay brand, while its nail color businesses remained bright spots.
The company reported a net sales decline of 2 percent to $350.1 million, while operating income grew to $59.1 million from $42.8 million boosted by an insurance payment of $18.1 million from its Venezuela plant fire. Net income was $24.7 million, compared to $11.1 million.
A shift in Almay brand support from advertising to promotional allowances in the U.S. contributed to lower sales, as it unfurls plans to enliven sales, which have been soft for months. Overall net sales in the U.S. remained relatively unchanged at $203.9 million as Pure Ice and Sinful revenues compensated for falls off in both Almay and Revlon color cosmetics. While response to Revlon’s Ultimate Suede lipsticks and Brilliant Strength nail enamel have been positive, the launch of Nearly Naked pressed powder has underperformed, likely to a consumer shift to the BB cream market.
Chris Elshaw, Revlon’s Chief Operating Officer, told analysts Almay is undergoing a repositioning that includes changes to communication, creative, in-store merchandising and packaging, which is slowly entering stores now. “You’ll see a lot more of it starting next year,” he noted. New products in the quarter included Almay’s re-entry into lip with Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm, and additions to its top-selling eye makeup remover line, Soothing & De-Puffing, Lash Care and Longwear & Waterproof gentle eye makeup remover pads.
“We are working on a three-year portfolio plan,” said Chris, who described Almay’s market share in the quarter as “stable.” Internationally, the Revlon brand has been growing in the U.K. and Japan, but declining in China, while Sinful continues a global expansion. Venezuela sales remain depressed due to weak business conditions and difficulties importing product into the market.
Meanwhile Robert Kretzman, Revlon’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer, is retiring effective September 30, but is joining the board. And, Lawrence Alletto, of JPMorgan Chase & Co., was tapped as Executive Vice President and chief financial officer and will assume the CAO title upon Robert’s retirement.