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Comments: Net sales increased 3.5% last year, but the company reported a net loss of $86 million, compared to a profit of $118 million in 2006. Johnson Diversey blamed the
loss on major restructuring.
By region, North American sales decreased 2.3% to
$798.6 million. The decline was primarily due to Johnson
Diversey’s withdrawal from a majority of the service-ori-ented laundry and ware washing business in the U.S.
Excluding the impact of this withdrawal, North American
sales increased 2.2%.
European sales (including Africa and Middle Eastern
markets) increased 6.3% to $1.6 billion. Gains were driven
by higher sales volumes throughout most countries, resulting from top customer growth, retention, and growing new
product platforms, according to the company.
11. Limited Brands
Sales: $3 billion
Sales: $3 billion (estimated) for Bath & Body Works, White
Barn and Victoria’s Secret personal care products.
Corporate sales: $10.1 billion. Net income: $718 million for
the year ended Feb. 2, 2008.
Key Personnel: Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer; Martyn R. Redgrave, executive vice president
and chief administrative officer; Stuart B. Burgdoerfer,
chief financial officer; Sharen J. Turney, chief executive officer and president, Victoria’s Secret Megabrand and intimate apparel; Diane Neal, chief executive officer and president, Bath & Body Works.
Major Products: Victoria’s Secret Beauty—fragrances, skin
care and cosmetics; Bath & Body Works—personal care,
beauty and home fragrance products marketed under the
Bath & Body Works, C.O. Bigelow and The White Barn
New Products: Bath & Body Works—Midnight
Pomegranate body care; The White Barn Candle
Company—Red Hot Passion, Tahitian Coffee and Tea home
Comments: Leslie Wexner is getting personal. Although
the Limited Brands chairman got his start in apparel, he
sees the future in personal care, particularly beauty. No
wonder then, that Limited divested its Express and
Limited Stores last summer to focus on its two core
brands, Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.
In fact, in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily last
fall, Mr. Wexner called Limited’s personal care business
the fifth largest in the U.S., with Estée Lauder at No. 4.
To build business further, the company is setting its
sights on international markets since, as Mr. Wexner
noted, unlike apparel, personal care and beauty products
usually work well on a global basis.
Despite his confidence in the personal care market,
BBW sales actually declined 2% last year to just under
$2.5 billion. The decline was blamed on a drop in store
traffic experienced throughout the year, and in particular,
during the fourth quarter, which resulted in disappointing
Similarly, Victoria’s Secret beauty sales also declined,
but Mr. Wexner insisted that he’s taking a long-term view.
“Brand loyalty to beauty and lingerie is very different
than loyalty to apparel. Because of that loyalty, we get
trial and repeat (business) in a way that apparel does not
get,” he told WWD. “Both (beauty and lingerie) categories
have significantly longer product life cycles and reduced
markdowns, giving the business unusual characteristics
For the first quarter of 2008, sales fell 16% to $1.9 billion, but net income surged 84%. Comparable store sales
declined 8% for the quarter.
On May 29, the company appointed Peter Horvath as
executive vice president of business integration. He will
work on a variety of operational strategies and initiatives
with both Martyn Redgrave, executive vice president and
chief administrative officer, and Mr. Wexner.
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