LOS ANGELES, Aug 06, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) today reported second-quarter net sales of $530.1 million, an increase of 13.8 percent compared to the same period of 2006. This record performance was largely attributable to continued growth in the company's top countries, with the U.S. up 30.7 percent and Mexico up 1.7 percent, versus the second quarter of 2006. The company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael O. Johnson, said, "We are pleased to report our 14th consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year revenue growth and another record quarter for revenue and earnings. All seven of our regions realized net sales growth for the quarter. This performance was driven by the strength of our independent distributors, the success of their daily methods of operations and our products that support them."
During the second quarter 2007, 56,112 distributors qualified as new supervisors, an increase of 4.9 percent versus the second quarter of 2006. Total supervisors of 368,062 increased 18.5 percent versus second quarter 2006 and the company's President's Team membership increased 11.6 percent to 1,031 members. One distributorship attained the prestigious level of Chairman's Club, bringing the total to 31 members.
For the quarter ended June 30, 2007, the company reported net income of $48.1 million, or $0.65 per diluted share, compared to $36.3 million, or $0.49 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2006. The increase in net income was primarily attributable to strong net sales growth, expansion in operating profit margins and a lower effective tax rate during the period. Excluding the impact of a favorable tax settlement in one of our international markets(1), second quarter 2007 net income was $47.5 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, compared to $0.49 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2006.
The company invested $13.5 million in capital expenditures during the second quarter, primarily related to enhancements to its management information systems and additional infrastructure investments to improve distributor productivity and service levels. Additionally, the company repurchased 3.5 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $39.65 under the recently approved $300 million share repurchase program. The company used excess cash along with debt to fund the repurchase.
For year to date June 30, 2007, the company reported net income of $89.3 million, or $1.20 per diluted share, compared to $75.0 million, or $1.01 per diluted share in the comparable 2006 period. Excluding the impact of favorable tax settlements in international markets in 2006 and 2007(1) as well as 2007 expenses related to the 2006 realignment for growth initiative, year to date 2007 net income increased 30.7 percent to $93.2 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, compared to $0.96 per diluted share in the year to date 2006.
Second Quarter 2007 Business Highlights
Consistent with its distributor strategy, the company continued to support the development and training of its distributors during the second quarter by hosting more than 45,000 distributors globally at numerous local and regional events. Highlights included Active Supervisor School in Mexico, Leadership Development meeting in South America, Spring Spectaculars in the EMEA region and Nutrition Club training in numerous markets.
The company also continued to support distributor business methods by expanding its distribution reach in key markets and expanding the global distribution of its leading products. "We continue to focus our company resources on increasing product availability and services to better support our distributors' daily methods of operations," said Greg Probert, the company's president and chief operating officer.
In June, the company received notification from China's Ministry of Commerce that its direct-selling license was expanded to permit the company to conduct its direct-selling business in the entire Jiangsu province. Located in China's east coast, the Jiangsu province, consisting of 13 cities and 61 counties, has a permanent and transient population of approximately 85 to 90 million people.
The company was also added to the Russell 1000, in June 2007, which tracks the performance of the 1000 U.S. companies with the largest market capitalization. The Russell 1000 accounts for approximately 92 percent of total equities traded on U.S. exchanges.
The EMEA region reported net sales of $146.0 million in the second quarter, up 0.6 percent versus the same period of 2006. However, excluding currency fluctuations, net sales decreased 5.6 percent. EMEA performance was primarily attributable to net sales growth in several of the region's top markets, including Spain which was up 24.6 percent; Portugal, up 16.0 percent; Italy, up 14.9 percent; and France, up 6.3 percent, in each case compared to the second quarter of 2006. These net sales gains were partially offset by declines in other core markets including Germany and the Netherlands, which were down 29.1 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively, versus the comparable period of 2006. Total supervisors in the region, as of June 30, 2007, decreased 5.3 percent versus the same period in 2006.
The North America region reported net sales of $113.9 million in the second quarter, up 30.3 percent versus the same period of 2006. Excluding currency fluctuations, net sales increased 30.3 percent. Total supervisors in the region, as of June 30, 2007, increased 20.2 percent versus the same period in 2006.
The Mexico and Central America region reported net sales of $97.9 million in the second quarter, up 4.1 percent versus the same period of 2006. Excluding currency fluctuations, net sales increased 1.4 percent. Total supervisors in the region, as of June 30, 2007, increased 41.8 percent as compared to the same period in 2006.
The SAM/SEA region reported net sales of $59.0 million in the second quarter, up 24.2 percent versus the same period of 2006. Excluding currency fluctuations, net sales increased 18.5 percent. The growth in the region was primarily attributable to double and triple digit growth in the region's top three markets - Venezuela 320.1 percent, Thailand 38.1 percent and Argentina 20.9 percent. Total supervisors in the region, as of June 30, 2007, increased 42.9 percent versus the same period in 2006.
The Greater China region reported net sales of $47.0 million in the second quarter, up 69.7 percent versus the same period of 2006. Excluding currency fluctuations, net sales increased 70.3 percent. The increase was primarily attributable to sales growth in China and Taiwan, up 187.9 percent, and 43.1 percent, respectively. Total supervisors in the region, as of June 30, 2007, increased 41.1 percent versus the same period in 2006. Herbalife currently operates 47 stores and 37 service centers in 28 provinces in China.
The North Asia region reported net sales of $34.0 million in the second quarter, up 2.4 percent versus the same period of 2006. Excluding currency fluctuations, net sales increased 4.2 percent. This performance reflects an 18.8 percent net sales increase in South Korea, partially offset by a 10.1 percent decline in net sales in Japan. Total supervisors in the region, as of June 30, 2007, decreased 0.4 percent versus the same period in 2006.
The Brazil region reported net sales of $32.3 million in the second quarter, up 4.2 percent versus the same period of 2006. Excluding currency fluctuations, net sales decreased 5.2 percent. Total supervisors, as of June 30, 2007, decreased 0.6 percent versus the same period in 2006.
Third Quarter and Full Year 2007 Guidance
Based on its current business trends, the company is raising its full year 2007 diluted earnings per share guidance to a range of $2.56 to $2.61. Additionally, the company is providing guidance for the third quarter of 2007 in the range of $0.59 to $0.64 for diluted earnings per share. The full year 2007 diluted earnings per share estimates exclude severance expenses associated with the company's realignment for growth initiative along with the increase in tax reserves reported in the first quarter 2007 financial results and the favorable international tax settlement reported this quarter.
The Board of Directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 payable to shareholders of record effective August 31, 2007, payable September 14, 2007.
About Herbalife Ltd.
Herbalife Ltd. ( www.herbalife.com) is a global network marketing company that sells weight-management, nutrition, and personal care products intended to support a healthy lifestyle. Herbalife products are sold in 65 countries through a network of more than 1.6 million independent distributors. The company supports the Herbalife Family Foundation ( http://www.herbalifefamily.org/) and its Casa Herbalife program to bring good nutrition to children. Please visit Herbalife Investor Relations at http://ir.herbalife.com for additional financial information.
Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release are "forward-looking statements." All statements other than statements of historical fact are "forward-looking statements" for purposes of federal and state securities laws, including any projections of earnings, revenue or other financial items; any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning proposed new services or developments; any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance; any statements of belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Forward-looking statements may include the words, "may," "will," "estimate," "intend," "continue," "believe," "expect," or "anticipate" and any other similar words.
Although we believe that the expectations reflected in any of our forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results could differ materially from those projected or assumed in any of our forward-looking statements. Our future financial condition and results of operations, as well as any forward-looking statements, are subject to change and to inherent risks and uncertainties, such as those disclosed or incorporated by reference in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Important factors that could cause our actual results, performance and achievements, or industry results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in our forward-looking statements include, among others, the following:
-- our relationship with, and our ability to influence the actions of, our distributors;
-- adverse publicity associated with our products or network marketing organization;
-- uncertainties relating to interpretation and enforcement of recently enacted legislation in China governing direct selling;
-- risk of our inability to obtain the necessary licenses to expand our direct selling business in China;
-- adverse changes in the Chinese economy, Chinese legal system or Chinese governmental policies;
-- risk of improper action by our employees or international distributors in violation of applicable law;
-- changing consumer preferences and demands;
-- loss or departure of any member of our senior management team which could negatively impact our distributor relations and operating results;
-- the competitive nature of our business;
-- regulatory matters governing our products, including potential governmental or regulatory actions concerning the safety or efficacy of our products, and network marketing program, including the direct selling market in which we operate;
-- risks associated with operating internationally, including foreign exchange risks;
-- our dependence on increased penetration of existing markets;
-- contractual limitations on our ability to expand our business;
-- our reliance on our information technology infrastructure and outside manufacturers;
-- the sufficiency of trademarks and other intellectual property rights;
-- product concentration;
-- our reliance on our management team;
-- uncertainties relating to the application of transfer pricing, duties and similar tax regulations;
-- taxation relating to our distributors,
-- product liability claims; and
-- there can be no assurance that we will purchase any of our shares in the open market or otherwise.