Kitchenware provider Lifetime Brands Inc. Thursday reported a 38 percent decrease in fourth quarter net income to $9.4 million as the European Union imposed higher duties on ceramic products and growth in U.S. disposable personal income remained weak.
Earnings per share for the quarter were 72 cents per diluted share, versus $1.19 in the year-ago period. Net sales, however, increased $10.1 million to $164.9 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
On Wednesday the Garden City company announced it had acquired the La Cafetière brewing-product business from The Greenfield Group Ltd. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. La Cafetière's products include teapots, stovetop espresso makers and French-press coffee makers.
For the full year, net sales rose 3.3 percent to $502.7 million, and net income was $9.3 million, or 71 cents per diluted share, versus $20.9 million, or $1.64 per diluted share, in 2012.
Shares of Lifetime Brands, which sells products under the Farberware, KitchenAid, Mikasa and Cuisinart names, gained 27 cents, or 1.50 percent, to close at $18.31 on the Nasdaq.
"Lifetime's results for 2013 were affected by a number of factors that masked fundamental improvements in our operating model and which we believe have positioned the company to achieve substantially higher sales and earnings in the years ahead," Jeffrey Siegel, Lifetime's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. The negative factors he cited included "weak growth in disposable personal income and personal consumption expenditures," higher duties on ceramic products in Europe and weakness in the Mexican economy.
Siegel said Lifetime's 2014 results should benefit from two other recent acquisitions: Kitchen Craft, a supplier of kitchen products in the United Kingdom, bought in January, and Built NY, a distributor of neoprene bags and totes, acquired in February.
In a conference call Siegel said that in May Lifetime would begin supplying Wal-Mart China's approximately 400 stores with kitchen tools, dinnerware and other items.