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Alberto Culver posts strong growth
01
Nov '08
Alberto Culver Company, a leading manufacturer and marketer of personal care products including TRESemme, Alberto VO5, Nexxus and St. Ives, today announced strong record sales and pre-tax earnings from continuing operations for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2008.

As a result of the divestiture of Cederroth International, continuing operations excludes the results for Cederroth. In addition, we are now reporting two business segments, United States and International.

Fourth Quarter:
Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 7.3% to $386.0 million from $359.7 million in the prior year quarter. Excluding the effect of foreign exchange rates, organic sales increased 8.4% for the fourth quarter.

Pre-tax income from continuing operations increased 20.2% to $45.4 million from $37.8 million in the prior year quarter. Excluding restructuring of $1.6 million in the current quarter and $1.1 million in the prior year quarter, pre-tax earnings from continuing operations increased 21.0% to $47.0 million compared to $38.9 million in the prior year quarter.

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were 20 cents compared to 29 cents in the prior year quarter. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations, excluding restructuring and discrete items (see detail in bullets below), increased to 31 cents compared to 26 cents in the prior year, an increase of 19.2%. The reported diluted earnings per share from continuing operations includes the following items:

The current quarter includes approximately 10 cents per share of tax expense, primarily related to taxes on a local currency gain on U.S. dollar denominated cash held in Sweden following the Cederroth sale, while the prior year quarter includes approximately four cents per share of discrete tax benefits, mainly due to the favorable resolution of open tax items.

The current and prior year quarter both include approximately one cent per share of restructuring expenses.

Fiscal Year:
Net sales for fiscal year 2008 increased 9.7% to $1.44 billion from $1.32 billion in the prior year. Excluding the effect of foreign exchange rates, organic sales increased 8.7% for the year.

Pre-tax income from continuing operations, which includes restructuring and discrete items of $7.3 million in the current year and $33.1 million in the prior year, increased to $170.8 million from $100.8 million in the prior year. Excluding restructuring and discrete items, pre-tax earnings from continuing operations increased 33.0% to $178.1 million compared to $133.9 million in the prior year.

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased to $1.05 from 74 cents in the prior year. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations, excluding restructuring and discrete items (see detail in bullets below), increased to $1.18 compared to 91 cents in the prior year, an increase of 29.7%. The reported diluted earnings per share from continuing operations includes the following items:


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