Elizabeth Arden posts biggest ever loss as celebrity perfume sales fall


Elizabeth Arden Inc reported the biggest quarterly loss in its history due to a steeper-than-anticipated fall in sales of celebrity perfumes, particularly Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift brands.

The company said quarter sales plunged 28.4 percent, the steepest in a decade, and warned that weak sales would continue for the next six months, sending its shares plunging more than 20 percent in premarket trading.

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Elizabeth Arden, which also sells cosmetics and other celebrity perfume brands such as Elizabeth Taylor and Britney Spears, said shipments fell in the fourth quarter ended June 30 as retailers bought fewer perfumes.

The company, which launched a restructuring program in June to revive sales growth, also said on Tuesday that Rhone Capital LLC agreed to buy $50 million in redeemable preferred stock as well as warrants to buy 2.5 million shares, representing about 7.6 percent of the outstanding stock.

The investment firm will get one seat on the company's seven-member board and also agreed to cap its stake at 30 percent, after the exercise of the warrants.

Elizabeth Arden, also known for its skin care brands such as Ceramide and Prevage, said in June it would exit low-return brands. That pushed away South Korea's LG Household & Health Care Ltd, which was planning to buy the company.

Elizabeth Arden's net sales fell to $191.7 million in the fourth quarter from $267.6 million a year earlier.

The net loss attributable to Elizabeth Arden widened to $155.9 million, or $5.24 per share, from $5.0 million, or 17 cents per share.

On an adjusted basis, the company lost $1.04 per share.

Up to Monday's close of $19.61, the company's stock had lost more than 44 percent this year. The stock fell to $15.40 in premarket trading.