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November 02, 2009

Financial News

Financial News, November 2009

Blyth Inc. (BTH—NYSE) reported that net sales for the second-quarter ended July 31, 2009, declined approximately 10 percent on a local currency basis, with reported sales down 16 percent to $199.4 million compared to $236.8 million for the prior-year period. International sales represented 39 percent of total sales in the second quarter this year and last year. Diluted earnings per share for the second quarter was a loss of $1.74, compared to earnings of 33 cents a year earlier.

“Although business conditions remained very challenging during the quarter as consumer spending in the United States and Canada continued to be impacted by the overall weak economic climate, we are pleased with our substantial improvements in working capital management and the resulting increase in cash flow during the first half of the year,” said Robert B. Goergen, Blyth’s Chairman of the Board and CEO. “We made further, substantial investments in our PartyLite direct selling business during the second quarter in order to provide the compelling products and programs that will help ensure the success of our consultants and leaders.”

In the direct selling segment, second-quarter net sales declined 4 percent on a local currency basis with reported U.S. dollar sales down 13 percent to $123.3 million versus $141.4 million for the same period last year. This year’s second-quarter results include ViSalus Sciences, acquired during last year’s third quarter. Second-quarter reported sales declined in most major markets due to consumer reluctance to host and attend parties in the current recessionary environment. PartyLite’s U.S. sales declined 17 percent versus prior year, and active independent sales consultants now total more than 18,000 in the United States versus over 20,000 in last year’s second quarter. The decline in second-quarter active independent U.S. consultants was at a lower rate than the prior two quarters, indicating an improving trend in this key metric.

In PartyLite Canada, sales decreased 21 percent in local currency during the quarter, which translated into a decline of 30 percent in U.S. dollars, with active independent sales consultants totaling more than 4,000 this year versus over 5,000 last year. PartyLite Europe’s sales decreased 1 percent in local currencies during the quarter, which translated into a sales decline of 14 percent in U.S. dollars. PartyLite’s European active independent sales consultants increased to more than 28,000 in this year’s second quarter versus more than 26,000 in last year’s second quarter.

Blyth Inc., based in Greenwich, Conn., is a Home Expressions company that markets an extensive array of home-fragrance products, decorative accessories, seasonal decorations and household convenience items. The company sells its products through multiple channels of distribution, including the home party plan method of direct selling, as well as through the catalog, Internet and wholesale channels.

* Direct Selling News has accumulated this information from public sources, including press releases and SEC filings. The information is presumed accurate and reliable. However, it is not an endorsement of any investment opportunity. Proper and considerable due diligence should be completed before making any investment.