Lower costs prop up Coty 1Q profit as sales slow

Coty reports slump in US demand for perfume, nail products; sees challenges in holiday season

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Beauty products company Coty on Thursday reported a significant slowdown in sales of perfume and nail products, especially in the U.S., and said discounting increased in Europe in the July-September quarter.

The company, known for its celebrity fragrances and OPI nail polish, said it expects challenges to continue in the current quarter, which contains the holiday shopping season.

Coty said it hopes sales will improve in the first half of 2014, helped by continued growth in emerging markets.

Shares dropped 40 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $15 in morning trading. The company went public in June in an IPO that priced at $17.50 per share and raised almost $1 billion.

In the July-September quarter, net income grew 8 percent to $93.5 million, or 24 cents per share. That's up from $86.7 million, or 22 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Excluding one-time items, earnings per share in the fiscal first quarter fell 2 cents to 28 cents, a penny short of analyst expectations.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $1.18 billion. FactSet says analysts expected $1.2 billion.

The company cut overhead and selling costs 6 percent to $516.4 million.

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