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Lifetime Brands sales and profits increase

Jeffrey Siegel, chief executive of Lifetime Brands Inc.,

Jeffrey Siegel, chief executive of Lifetime Brands Inc., of Garden City. Credit: Danny Ghitis, 2010

Lifetime Brands Inc., the Garden City-based kitchen and home goods company, reported higher quarterly sales and profits after the launch of several new kitchenware products.

The company's stock surged on the news, rising 9.34 percent Thursday to close at $12.06.

Lifetime reported sales of $154.8 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, a 12.5 percent increase from $137.6 million in the same period for 2011.

Profits rose to $15.2 million, or $1.19 per share, from $5.4 million in the year-ago period. Analysts had originally predicted earnings of 55 cents per share on sales of $145 million for the quarter.

The increase in profit and sales was due to robust gains in Lifetime's kitchenware business, which grew 25 percent compared to the same 2011 quarter, said chief executive Jeffrey Siegel in a conference call after the earnings release. The company owns brands such as Cuisinart and KitchenAid.

Siegel pointed to a cookware line for Food Network personality Guy Fieri as a new popular product.

The gains in kitchenware more than offset declining sales in the company's Tabletop and Home Solutions products, Siegel noted. Those two business lines were affected by a weak retail market, and by the overhaul of J.C. Penney Co.'s business strategy, which depressed overall sales at the retail chain, said Larry Winoker, Lifetime's chief financial officer.

Despite consumer concern in the United States over the higher taxes and gas prices, and an unpredictable global economy, Siegel said he still expects a strong 2013: "Although economic conditions around the globe are far from ideal, we expect our overall business to increase by 4 percent to 6 percent."

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