Hydro Flask raised its sales by 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, said its new parent company, Helen of Troy, offsetting declines in the core business of its drinkware division. It also made a positive contribution to its gross margin, and it delivered a strong operating profit.
Higher rates of growth had been recently reported for this brand of stainless steel insulated flasks. In the latest quarter, its growth benefited from a wider range of colors and new product introductions, gaining shelf space and expanding its distribution in the U.S. and internationally. It made new inroads in Canada, Germany and Japan.
Hydro Flask has gained market share in the outdoor and sporting goods markets for water bottles, said Helen of Troy's management, predicting that the brand will deliver a double-digit sales increase in the current financial year, contributing to growth of between 11 and 13 percent in its housewares division.
Helen of Troy, which took over Hydro Flask in March 2016, said that acquisitions contributed sales of $29.3 million in the quarter, helping to boost the turnover of its housewares segment by 30.5 percent to $102.8 million and the segment's operating margin by 1.3 percentage points to 20.1 percent. Helen of Troy's total revenues decreased by 2.3 percent to $376.7 million in the quarter, but the gross margin improved to 44.9 percent and the operating margin more than doubled to 10.8 percent.
Meanwhile, Hydro Flask is deploying new marketing efforts. It has signed an agreement to sponsor REI Outessa as the official water bottle and drinkware partner of the initiative, which is designed to connect women with the outdoors at a series of three-day outdoor events. Hundreds of women will be involved in activities such as hiking, trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing, trail photography, paddle boarding, kayaking, climbing, yoga, backpacking, wilderness survival training and outdoor cooking, using equipment and products provided by a variety of suppliers. Hydro Flask will give them its bottles. It will also sponsor a campfire happy hour at each of the events.
Hydro Flask has also signed a multi-year partnership with the World Surf League to be the official water bottle and drinkware sponsor of the WSL Championship Tour and the Big Wave Awards in North America.