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Lifetime Brands' sales rise, net income dips

Lifetime Brands chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Siegel

Lifetime Brands chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Siegel in the company's Garden City show room on Nov. 16, 2010. Credit: Danny Ghitis

Garden City-based Lifetime Brands Inc. Thursday reported higher fourth quarter and full year consolidated net sales, driven by expansion of its housewares business and by international acquisitions that offset weak U.S. sales.

Net income for the quarter and year declined.

The global provider of branded kitchenware, tableware and other products, including Farberware and KitchenAid, posted net sales for the fourth quarter of $190 million, an increase of 15.2 percent from $164.9 million in the corresponding period in 2013.

Net sales for the year ending Dec. 31, 2014, were $586 million, an increase of 16.6 percent from $502.7 million in the prior year. Net sales for the U.S. wholesale segment in 2014 were $441.3 million, a decrease of 0.6 percent from 2013. Outside the United States, wholesale net sales increased by $86.3 million, to $125.2 million.

"For 2014, despite the continuation of the tough retail environment and a mixed holiday selling season, Lifetime delivered consolidated net sales of $586.0 million . . . reflecting the success of our acquisition strategy and international expansion," Lifetime chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Siegel said in a statement.

Lifetime Brands' net income for the fourth quarter dropped slightly, to $9.3 million, from $9.4 million in the corresponding period in 2013. Its adjusted net income was $8.3 million, or 59 cents per diluted share, in the quarter ending Dec. 31, compared with an adjusted $10 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, in the same period in 2013.

Adjustments include acquisition-related expenses, restructuring expenses and investments.

Net income for the fiscal year fell to $1.5 million from $9.3 million the previous year. Adjusted net income for 2013 was $9.2 million, compared to $14.5 million in 2013.

Shares of Lifetime Brands dropped 57 cents, or 3.75 percent, to close at $14.61 on the Nasdaq stock market Thursday. They are down nearly 17 percent in the past year.Sales of kitchenware products declined, due to a decrease in cutlery sales under the Cuisinart brand and decreased sales volume in cookware and novelty kitchenware, offset by increased sales of tableware and home solutions products. Its home decor products also have experienced a decline in sales and profit in recent years, Siegel said.

Lower oil prices, lower raw material costs, a continued decrease in the U.S. unemployment rate and the strong U.S. dollar will benefit Lifetime Brands' housewares business this year, Siegel said. As a result, Lifetime Brands foresees sales increasing by 3 to 6 percent.

"We believe current trends favor large and financially stable manufacturers and suppliers with multiple brands," Siegel said.

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