Rick Goings, Chairman and CEO, commented, “Our local currency sales came in 1-point under our October guidance range. Overall, our top-line did accelerate on a sequential basis after adjusting for calendar shifts, in connection with having an additional week in the fourth quarter of 2016, and the closure of Beauticontrol.
China’s significant growth trajectory continued, while Brazil and Tupperware Mexico grew nicely, demonstrating resilience in the face of tough externals coming out of the third quarter of 2017. Adjusted earnings per share was 6-cents above the high-end of our range in local currency after a 1-cent drag from foreign exchange rates versus October guidance.”
Goings continued, “Our re-engineering program to revitalize operations and improve the cost structure, primarily in Europe, continues to progress. Globally, we continue efforts to evolve our relationship-selling business model to include greater access to our powerful brands and innovative products through the use of digital tools, branded contact points and a relevant earning opportunity for our growing sales force of 3.2 million.”
Fourth Quarter Executive Summary – (Comparisons with Fourth Quarter 2016)
- Net sales were $588.6 million, down 2% (4% local currency). On a Comparable Basis, adjusting for the impacts of the 53rd week in 2016 and the closure of Beauticontrol, local currency sales were estimated to be up 3%++. Emerging markets**, accounting for 67% of sales, were up 2% (1% local currency). On a Comparable Basis, local currency sales in the emerging markets increased 7%++. The most significant contributions to the fourth quarter growth in local currency sales were in Brazil, China and Tupperware Mexico, partially offset by India and Indonesia. Established market sales decreased 9% (14% local currency). On a Comparable Basis, local currency sales in the established markets decreased 5%++. The local currency sales decreases were most significant in France, Germany and Italy.
- GAAP net loss and diluted loss per share were $326.5 million and $6.41, versus net income and diluted earnings per share of $79.0 million and $1.55 in 2016, respectively. “Items” in the 2017 quarter included non-cash, income tax charges related to the enactment of the new U.S. tax law of $375 million, or $7.36 per share, and pre-tax costs in connection with the Company’s re-engineering program of $22 million, or $0.40 in 2017, versus $0.04 in 2016. Adjusted, diluted earnings per share of $1.59 was 10% higher (6% local currency). This was 6-cents above the high-end of the October guidance range. Versus the October guidance, there was a 1-cent negative impact on adjusted, diluted earnings per share comparison from net weaker foreign exchange rates, while there was a 5-cent benefit versus the same period in 2016.
- Total sales force of 3.2 million was up 3%, including a 1-point negative impact from removing the Beauticontrol sales force. Average active sellers in the fourth quarter was down 3%, including a negative 3-point impact related to Beauticontrol. This was a 3-point improvement from the third quarter after adjusting for Beauticontrol.
Fourth Quarter Business Highlights – (Comparisons with Fourth Quarter 2016)
Europe: Segment sales were down 3% (10% local currency). Comparable Basis: down 5%++.
- Emerging markets in Europe were down 2% (3% local currency), mainly in Tupperware South Africa, down 7% (10% local currency), partially offset by CIS, up 18% (13% local currency).
- Established markets were down 4% (13% local currency), in part, due to service issues in connection with the pending closure of the French supply chain facility, most significantly in Germany, up 1% (down 9% local currency), France, down 6% (15% local currency), and Italy, down 12% (20% local currency).
Asia Pacific: Segment sales were down 2% (4% local currency). Comparable Basis: up 2%++.
- Emerging markets in Asia Pacific were down 1% (3% local currency), reflecting sales in China, up 33% (28% local currency) on the strength of significantly more members and continued leveraging of the product portfolio, digital technologies and its 6,100 studios (11% advantage over 2016). India was down 19% (23% local currency), reflecting continued challenges with the sales force size in light of the government direct selling guidelines, along with a negative 6% impact from the goods and services tax effective in July 2017. Indonesia was down 21% (20% local currency) from fewer active sellers.
North America: Segment sales were down 7% (8% local currency), including 8-points of an impact from Beauticontrol closure. Comparable Basis: up 4%++.
- Tupperware United States and Canada sales were down 2% (3% local currency), including a negative timing shift.
- Tupperware Mexico sales were up 13% (10% local currency) and Fuller Mexico sales were down 1% (5% local currency), despite impacts from natural disasters at the end of the third quarter 2017.
South America: Segment sales grew 6% (10% local currency). Comparable Basis: up 16%++.
- Brazil was up 4% (5% local currency), leveraging a 16% sales force size advantage to overcome challenges in the consumer spending environment.
- Sales in Argentina were even with 2016 (up 16% local currency). Local currency comparison mainly reflected price increases related to the highly inflationary environment.
This content was originally published here.