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Blyth Reports Profit, Lifts FY12 Outlook

Blyth Inc. (BTH) Friday swung to a profit for the first quarter, from a loss last year, as the maker of candles and decorations generated 56 percent revenue growth, driven by the performance of subsidiary ViSalus.

Moving ahead, Greenwich, Connecticut-based Blyth lifted its earnings guidance for the full year 2012, based on the significant year-over-year sales growth at ViSalus.

Sales from ViSalus, which sells weight management products, nutritional supplements and energy drinks, surged to $136.7 million from $20 million last year.

Chief Executive Robert Goergen said, "ViSalus had a very strong start to the seasonally-important first quarter for weight management and healthy lifestyle companies. Programs such as the Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge and Rising Star that were so effective leading into and throughout 2011 were bridged successfully into 2012."

Sales from direct selling segment, which includes ViSalus and PartyLite, increased 82 percent, due mainly to significant sales growth at ViSalus. Total PartyLite sales dropped 11 percent for the quarter.

Blyth's net sales for the quarter grew 56 percent to $283.1 million from $181.0 million last year.

Blyth reported a profit of $7.5 million or $0.87 per share for the first quarter, compared to a loss of $1.0 million or $0.12 per share a year ago.

For the recent first quarter, the company recorded total special charges of $0.23 per share, while last year it was $0.30 per share. Blyth's normalized earnings, which excludes special charges and discontinued operations, improved to $1.10 per share from $0.18 per share last year.

Looking forward to full year 2012, Blyth lifted its normalized earnings guidance to a range of $5.50 to $5.75 per share, from prior estimates of $5.00 to $5.25 per share. The company also lifted its reported earnings, which includes charges, to $4.90 to $5.15 per share from previous estimates of $4.50 to $4.75 per share. Blyth lifted its outlook mainly due to growth at ViSalus.

BTH is currently trading at $77.96, up $3.52 or 4.32%, on the NYSE.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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