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Alberto Culver looking into Soft & Beautiful complaints

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

In its 10-Q SEC filing from Feb. 4, Alberto Culver notes it has identified a trend of increased consumer complaints about a "segment" of its Soft & Beautiful hair relaxer kits. "Management is reviewing all available information relating to these complaints and the manufacture and distribution of these kits," firm says in the filing. Sales of the affected SKUs represented 1% of Alberto's total net sales. As a precautionary measure, Alberto is reviewing complaints for its entire relaxer business, though it has not identified similar trends with any other brands. Some remedial action will be required for the Soft & Beautiful kits and will result in a one-time earnings charge not to exceed $6 mil. On Feb. 1, Alberto released its first fiscal-quarter (ended Dec. 31) earnings. Boosted by hair-care and with international sales up, net sales grew 2.9% to $363 mil. Earnings were up 15.6% to $36.6 mil. from the comparable quarter last year. In the U.S., sales dipped 2.5% to $218.8 mil. despite market share gains from TRESemme, while internationally sales increased 12.3% to $144.1 mil. due to foreign currency fluctuations and sales of TRESemme and St. Ives

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