Reliv International, Inc., a nutrition and direct selling company, has reported that sales and earnings in the first-quarter of 2010 were below last year's first-quarter results, but sales outside of the United States rose during the period.
Net sales were $22.7 million, a decline of 4.5 percent from the first quarter of 2009. U.S. sales declined 9.0 percent. International sales rose 36.1 percent, with approximately half of the increase due to currency fluctuations.
Net income was $746,000 for the quarter, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared to $1.0 million in net income, or $0.07 per diluted share, in the same quarter last year.
Robert L. Montgomery, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "International sales were a bright spot this quarter, increasing approximately 19 percent excluding the effect of currency fluctuations. Our U.S. distributors and customers, however, are still feeling the effects of the recession, as their spending remains below last year's levels. The rate of the sales decline, however, has moderated compared to previous years' declines."
Montgomery described several tactics designed to increase sales. "We are currently conducting the Reliv 'Freedom Tour' in which senior executives will visit our 35 top U.S. markets. We hope to spur new-distributor enrollments and encourage existing distributors to expand their businesses more quickly," Montgomery said.
"In the first quarter, we launched the Team Reliv concept in which distributors will sponsor running events in their hometowns," he said. "The events give participants an opportunity to sample Innergize, our isotonic sports product, and give our distributors a means of generating leads. This is part of a strategy to attract younger distributors to Reliv and to increase our brand awareness by emphasizing the role of Reliv supplements in a healthy, active lifestyle," Montgomery said.
Reliv also introduced three new Relivables products during the first quarter, including Relivables Soy Nuts, Relivables snack bars and "r" body lotion.
One factor in the overall sales decline has been a reduction in the size of the average order. "Over the last two years, the number of orders has remained relatively steady, which indicates a solid customer base," Montgomery said. "We believe the recession, therefore, is the main culprit leading to lower average order sizes."
He added, "Our total distributor count declined from last year, mainly due to a slow January and February this year. In the first quarter of last year, enrollments were very strong due in part to a special promotion that wasn't in place in the first quarter of 2010. March 2010 enrollments, however, were back to our historical levels," he said.
Reliv generated net cash from operating activities of $1.6 million in the first quarter, less than the $2.8 million in net cash generated in the first quarter of 2009. As of March 31, 2010, Reliv had cash and cash equivalents of $7.2 million, up slightly from $7.0 million on hand as of the same date in 2009.
He added, "Reliv was founded on the premise that we make nutrition simple. We offer outstanding products that are based on the latest scientific research. In addition, we provide an affordable business opportunity for individuals who want to start a home-based business."
Reliv will host a conference call to discuss first-quarter earnings with investors. The conference call will be on April 29, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. The dial-in number is 866-730-5767. The participant passcode is 70492527. A replay will be available for one week at 888-286-8010 using the passcode 61922212.
A live webcast is available on the Investor Relations section of Reliv's Web site at: http://www.reliv.com/US/EN/Conference%20Calls%20Presentations.html
An online archive of the webcast will be on Reliv's Web site in the Investor Relations section, 24 hours after the call concludes.
Reliv International, Inc., based in Chesterfield, Mo., is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of a proprietary line of nutritional supplements. Reliv supplements address essential daily nutrition, weight loss and targeted solutions such as energy and performance enhancement, digestive health, women's health and anti-aging. Reliv sells its products through an international network marketing system of approximately 66,000 independent distributors. Additional information about Reliv International, Inc. can be obtained on the Web at www.reliv.com.