Helen of Troy, the U.S. consumer goods conglomerate that bought Hydro Flask last March, is apparently getting a good return on its $209 million investment. Last July, it said that the insulated bottle maker's sales had been 22 percent higher than expected in the first quarter, without giving a precise figure. A few days ago, it said that Hydro Flask will probably generate revenues of between $85 million and $90 million for the full financial year – well above its original projection of a turnover of $60 million to $65 million.
Hydro Flask's sales grew by 36.8 percent to $29.1 million in the second quarter, ended on Aug. 31, helping the group's Housewares segment to book a 34.4 percent sales increase to $105.9 million. The seven-year-old brand's growth was driven by strong reorders and expanded distribution in the sports sector and in other specialty markets, including natural foods. It has been making strong inroads in foreign markets like Germany and the U.K.
Without Hydro Flask, the Housewares segment would have recorded a sales decline of 2.4 percent and lower operating earnings in the quarter. In fact, the young brand also contributed to the improvement of 4.2 percentage points in the adjusted operating margin of the Housewares segment, which went up to 24.2 percent – by far the best score within the group – while all the other segments recorded flat or lower sales and generally lower margins.
The high profitability of Hydro Flask allowed the whole Helen of Troy group to book an increase of 4.2 percentage points to 44.3 percent for its consolidated gross margin in the quarter. The group's consolidated sales fell by 0.3 percent to $368.2 million, due to currencies and other factors. The operating margin rose to 10.2 percent from 8.8 percent, and the net profit margin went up to 7.7 percent from 6.6 percent.
Meanwhile, Hydro Flask has launched a bottle customization program, allowing customers to choose from more than 183,456 color combinations for the bottle, its strap, its cap and its silicone boot. Since Oct. 3, they can get seven different bottle sizes customized in this way by placing an order on myhydro.hydroflask.com.