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Lifetime Brands reports higher sales driven by international expansion

The Trap Door Colander is demonstrated on March

The Trap Door Colander is demonstrated on March 1, 2012. It is among the many products invented and developed by Garden City-based Lifetime Brands. Credit: Nancy Borowick

Garden City-based Lifetime Brands Inc. on Thursday reported a third-quarter increase in consolidated net sales, driven by expansion of its housewares business and by international acquisitions that offset weak U.S. sales.

Despite the increase, Lifetime posted a net loss of $1.6 million compared to net income of $1.1 million a year earlier, and decreased its sales forecast for the year.

The company's stock price declined almost 10 percent in early trading, to 15.70 a share.

The global provider of branded kitchenware, tableware and other products, including Farberware and KitchenAid, posted net sales of $162.2 million, an increase of 14 percent compared with $142.2 million in the year-ago quarter. The higher figure included $20.7 million of net sales from United Kingdom-based Kitchen Craft and other acquisitions that were completed this year.

The company's adjusted net income was $5.7 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, in the quarter ending Sept. 30, down from an adjusted $6.1 million, or 47 cents per diluted share, in the same period in 2013.

"Despite a continuation of the tough retail environment, Lifetime delivered record sales . . . largely due to the success of our acquisition strategy and international expansion," Jeffrey Siegel, Lifetime's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Wholesale net sales in the U.S. fell 3.7 percent, primarily due to a drop in sales of kitchenware products to warehouse clubs. The decrease was partially offset by sales attributable to Manhattan-based Built NY, a designer and distributor of brightly colored bags, totes, cases and sleeves acquired in March, and increases in sales of tableware and other products.

Outside the U.S., wholesale net sales rose by $22.8 million, primarily due to the acquisition earlier this year of Kitchen Craft, a supplier of kitchenware products, along with U.K.-based La Cafetière, which designs and distributes products to brew and serve coffee and tea. It was also due to higher sales at U.K.-based Creative Tops, a wholesale provider of tableware, kitchenware and giftware products, and sales to hundreds of Walmart stores in China.

"Reflecting the outlook for ongoing weakness in sales of certain product categories in the U.S., we are reducing our sales guidance for the year to $590 million from the $600 million that we previously had forecast," Siegel said.

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