Helen of Troy’s Houseware segment, which includes drinkware brand Hydro Flask, posted double-digit growth in the third fiscal quarter ended on Nov. 30. Sales in the segment soared by 21.4 percent from the year-ago quarter to $222.4 million, driven by an organic business increase of 21.2 percent, largely due to higher demand for OXO brand products as consumers spent more time at home cooking, cleaning and organizing in response to Covid-19. This resulted in increases in brick-and-mortar, online and international sales.
However, Hydro Flask faced headwinds in the quarter due to the negative impact of restrictions on store traffic at certain retail brick-and-mortar stores, such as Dick’s, REI and other specialty outdoor retailers. The soft back-to-school season due to the pandemic also increased competitive activity.
On the bright side, the management highlighted a meaningful increase in EMEA and Asia-Pacific sales for both OXO and Hydro Flask, as the group continues to expand distribution and marketing initiatives outside the U.S.
The operating margin dropped by 6.2 percentage points to 22.5 percent in the segment, due to a less favorable product mix, higher marketing expense, increased freight and distribution expenses to support strong demand, higher royalty expenses and increased legal and other professional fees.
For the Helen of Troy group, revenues progressed by 34.3 percent to $637.7 million, including a 34.6 percent gain for the Health and Home segment, and a 56.2 percent increase in the Beauty segment.
The gross margin inched up by 0.9 percentage points to 45.1 percent and adjusted Ebitda surged by 24.0 percent to $117.0 million, while net income rose by 22.6 to $84.2 million.
Looking ahead, the company expects consolidated sales growth of 21.5 to 23.0 percent, including housewares net sales growth of 12.0 to 12.5 percent.