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LCUT > SEC Filings for LCUT > Form 10-K on 15-Mar-2013All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for LIFETIME BRANDS, INC | Request a Trial to NEW EDGAR Online Pro

Form 10-K for LIFETIME BRANDS, INC


15-Mar-2013

Annual Report


Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements for the Company and notes thereto set forth in Item 15. This discussion contains forward-looking statements relating to future events and the future performance of the Company based on the Company's current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about it and the Company's industry. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results and timing of various events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, as more fully described in this section and elsewhere in this Annual Report. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason, even if new information becomes available or other events occur in the future.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

The Company designs, sources and sells branded kitchenware, tabletop and other products used in the home. The Company's product categories include two categories of products that people use to prepare, serve and consume foods, Kitchenware (kitchen tools and gadgets, cutlery, cutting boards, cookware, bakeware and novelty housewares) and Tabletop (dinnerware, flatware and glassware); and one category, Home Solutions, which comprises other products used in the home (food storage, pantryware, spices and home décor). In 2012, Kitchenware products and Tabletop products accounted for approximately 80% of the Company's wholesale net sales and 76% of its consolidated net sales.

The Company markets several product lines within each of its product categories and under most of the Company's brands, primarily targeting moderate to premium price points through every major level of trade. The Company believes it possesses certain competitive advantages based on its brands, its emphasis on innovation and new product development and its sourcing capabilities. The Company owns or licenses a number of the leading brands in its industry including Farberware®, KitchenAid®, Mikasa ®, Pfaltzgraff®, Cuisinart®, Elements ®, Melannco®, Fred® and V&A ®. Historically, the Company's sales growth has come from expanding product offerings within its product categories, by developing existing brands, acquiring new brands and establishing new product categories. Key factors in the Company's growth strategy have been the selective use and management of the Company's brands and the Company's ability to provide a stream of new products and designs. A significant element of this strategy is the Company's in-house design and development teams that create new products, packaging and merchandising concepts.


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BUSINESS SEGMENTS

The Company operates in two reportable business segments: the Wholesale segment, which is the Company's primary business that designs, markets and distributes its products to retailers and distributors, and the Retail Direct segment, in which the Company markets and sells a limited selection of its products to consumers through its Pfaltzgraff®, Mikasa®, Housewares Deals ® and Lifetime Sterling® Internet websites. The operating results of Fred® & Friends are included in the Wholesale segment from December 20, 2012, the date it was acquired by the Company.

EQUITY INVESTMENTS

The Company owns approximately 30% of the outstanding capital stock of Grupo Vasconia, S.A.B. ("Vasconia"), a leading Mexican housewares company and aluminum manufacturer. The Company accounts for its investment in Vasconia using the equity method of accounting and has recorded its proportionate share of Vasconia's net income, net of taxes, as equity in earnings in the Company's consolidated statements of operations. Pursuant to a Shares Subscription Agreement (the "Agreement"), the Company may designate four persons to be nominated as members of Vasconia's Board of Directors. Shares of Vasconia's capital stock are traded on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, the Mexican Stock Exchange (www.bmv.com.mx). The Quotation Key is VASCONI.

In January 2011, the Company, together with Vasconia and unaffiliated partners, formed Housewares Corporation of Asia Limited ("HCA"), a Hong Kong-based company that supplies imported kitchenware products to retailers in North, Central and South America. The Company accounts for its 40% investment in HCA using the equity method of accounting and has recorded its proportionate share of HCA's net income as equity in earnings in the Company's consolidated statements of operations.

In December 2011, the Company acquired a 40% equity interest in GS Internacional S/A ("GSI"). GSI is a leading wholesale distributor of branded housewares products in Brazil. The company markets dinnerware, glassware, home décor, kitchenware and barware to customers throughout Brazil including major department stores, housewares retailers and independent shops. The Company accounts for its investment in GSI using the equity method of accounting and has recorded its proportionate share of GSI's net income, net of taxes, as equity in earnings in the Company's consolidated statements of operations. Pursuant to a Shareholders' Agreement, the Company has the right to designate three persons (including one independent person, as defined) to be nominated as members of GSI's Board of Directors. GSI's Board of Directors is comprised of seven members (including two independent members).

In February 2012, the Company entered into Grand Venture Holdings Limited ("Grand Venture"), a joint venture with Manweal Development Limited ("Manweal"), a Chinese corporation, to distribute Mikasa® products in China, which included an initial investment of $500,000. The Company and Manweal each own 50% of Grand Venture and have rights and obligations proportionate to their ownership percentage. The Company accounts for its investment in Grand Venture using the equity method of accounting and has recorded its proportionate share of Grand Venture's net loss in equity in earnings in the Company's consolidated statements of operations.

SEASONALITY

The Company's business and working capital needs are highly seasonal, with a majority of sales occurring in the third and fourth quarters. In 2012, 2011 and 2010, net sales for the third and fourth quarters accounted for 58%, 59%, and 60% of total annual net sales, respectively. In anticipation of the pre-holiday shipping season, inventory levels increase primarily in the June through October time period.

EFFECT OF ADOPTION OF ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLE

In July 2012, the FASB issued ASU No. 2012-02, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Testing Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets for Impairment, which permits an entity to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform the quantitative impairment test described in ASC Topic No. 350, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other. The amendments in this update are effective for annual and interim impairment tests performed for fiscal years beginning after September 15, 2012. The Company has determined that the adoption of this guidance does not have a material impact on the Company's consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


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In January 2013, the FASB issued ASU No. 2013-02, Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Reporting of Amounts Reclassified Out of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, which requires an entity to provide information about the amounts reclassified out of accumulated other comprehensive income by component. In addition, an entity is required to present, either on the face of the statement where net income is presented or in the notes, significant amounts reclassified out of accumulated other comprehensive income by the respective line items of net income but only if the amount reclassified is required under GAAP to be reclassified to net income in its entirety in the same reporting period. For other amounts that are not required under GAAP to be reclassified in their entirety to net income (e.g., net periodic pension benefit cost), an entity is required to cross-reference to other disclosures required under GAAP that provide additional detail about those amounts. The amendments in this update are effective prospectively for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2012. The Company has determined that the adoption of this guidance will not have a material impact on the Company's consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following table sets forth statement of operations data of the Company as a percentage of net sales for the periods indicated below.

                                                              Year Ended December 31,
                                                         2012          2011          2010
Net sales                                                 100.0 %       100.0 %       100.0 %
Cost of sales                                              63.7          63.5          61.8


Gross margin                                               36.3          36.5          38.2
Distribution expenses                                       9.0           9.9          10.1
Selling, general and administrative expenses               21.4          21.1          21.4
Intangible asset impairment                                 0.2            -             -


Income from operations                                      5.7           5.5           6.7

Interest expense                                           (1.2 )        (1.7 )        (2.1 )
Loss on early retirement of debt                           (0.3 )          -           (0.2 )


Income before income taxes equity in earnings and
extraordinary item                                          4.2           3.8           4.4
Income tax provision                                       (1.1 )        (1.4 )        (1.0 )
Equity in earnings, net of taxes                            1.2           0.8           0.6


Income before extraordinary item                            4.3           3.2           4.0

Extraordinary item, net of taxes                             -             -            0.6

Net income                                                  4.3 %         3.2 %         4.6 %

MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

2012 COMPARED TO 2011

Net Sales

Net sales for the year were $486.8 million, an increase of 9.5% compared to net sales of $444.4 million in 2011. The increase was primarily the result of the inclusion of Creative Tops, which was acquired in November 2011.

Net sales for the Wholesale segment in 2012 were $464.8 million, an increase of $43.7 million, or 10.4%, as compared to net sales of $421.1 million in 2011. Net sales included $42.6 million from Creative Tops in 2012 compared to $6.7 million from Creative Tops in 2011. Net sales for the Company's Kitchenware product category in 2012 were $256.1 million, an increase of $40.4 million, or 18.7%, as compared to net sales of $215.7 million in 2011. The increase in the Company's Kitchenware product category was primarily attributable to the strength and expansion of certain brands and the introduction of new innovative styles and designs including the new Guy Fieri® line. The Kitchenware category also included $0.2 million of sales from the Fred® & Friends business acquired on December 20, 2012. Net sales for the Company's Tabletop product category in 2012 were $113.9 million, a decrease of $20.7 million, or 15.4%, as compared to net sales of $134.6 million for 2011. The Tabletop product category sales decrease was partially attributable to the absence, in the 2012 period, of sales of excess sterling silver finished goods inventory and a major rollout of dinnerware each of which occurred in the 2011 period. In addition, the category experienced weakness at the retail level. Net sales for the Company's Home Solutions products category in 2012 were $52.2 million, a decrease of $11.9 million, or 18.6%, as compared to net sales of $64.1 million in 2011. The decrease in sales for the Company's Home Solutions product category was due to weak consumer demand for this category.


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Net sales for the Retail Direct segment in 2012 were $22.0 million, a decrease of $1.3 million, or 5.6%, as compared to $23.3 million for 2011. The decrease was primarily attributable to a reduction in promotional activities in 2012.

Gross margin

Gross margin for 2012 was $176.8 million, or 36.3%, as compared to $162.4 million, or 36.5%, for the corresponding period in 2011.

Gross margin for the Wholesale segment was 34.8% for 2012 as compared to 34.9% for 2011.

Gross margin for the Retail Direct segment was 68.6% for 2012 as compared to 66.9% for 2011. The increase in gross margin reflects the mix in product sales, less promotional activities, a revised pricing strategy and more effective web design which favorably affected margins during the 2012 period.

Distribution expenses

Distribution expenses for 2012 were $44.0 million as compared to $43.9 million for 2011. Distribution expenses as a percentage of net sales were 9.0% in 2012 and 9.9% for 2011.

Distribution expenses as a percentage of sales shipped from the Company's warehouses located in the United States for the Wholesale segment were 8.9% for 2012 as compared to 9.4% for 2011. The percentage decrease resulted from significant improvements in labor management and other operating expense savings.

Distribution expenses as a percentage of net sales for the Retail Direct segment were 28.9% for 2012 compared to 29.8% for 2011. Retail Direct also benefitted from improved labor management and other operating expense savings.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses ("SG&A") for 2012 were $104.3 million, an increase of $10.4 million, or 11.1%, as compared to $93.9 million for 2011. Excluding the expenses of Creative Tops, SG&A expenses for 2012 were $94.7 million, an increase of $1.9 million as compared to $92.8 million for 2011.

SG&A expenses for 2012 for the Wholesale segment were $82.4 million, an increase of $11.0 million, or 15.4%, as compared to $71.4 million in 2011. As a percentage of net sales, SG&A expenses were 17.7% for 2012 compared to 17.0% for 2011. The increase principally reflects higher expenses for Creative Tops to support its business expansion plan and an increase in employee related expenses.

SG&A expenses for 2012 for the Retail Direct segment were $8.3 million compared to $9.2 million for 2011. The decrease was primarily attributable to improved expense management.

Unallocated corporate expenses for 2012 and 2011 were $13.6 million and $13.3 million, respectively, due to an increase in compensation offset by a reduction in acquisition related expenses.

Intangible asset impairment

During the past twelve months, the Company's home décor products category has experienced a significant decline in sales. The Company believes the most significant factor was the reduction in retail space allocated to the category which has also contributed to pricing pressure. While the Company believes this market condition is not permanent, following a strategic review of the business, it has decided to re-brand a portion of the home décor products under the Mikasa® and Pfaltzgraff® trade names. As a result of these factors, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $1.1 million in its statement of operations which reduced the book value of its Elements® trade name.


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Interest expense

Interest expense for 2012 was $5.9 million as compared to $7.8 million for 2011. The decrease in interest expense was primarily attributable to lower average interest rates and lower average borrowings. The most significant factor in the rate reduction related to the retirement of the Company's 4.75% convertible senior notes (the "Notes").

Loss on early retirement of debt

In June and July 2012, the Company repaid its second lien credit agreement (the "Term Loan"). In connection therewith, the Company wrote off debt issuance costs of $1.4 million.

Income tax provision

The income tax provision was $5.2 million in 2012 and $6.1 million in 2011. The Company's effective tax rate for 2012 was 25.9% as compared to 36.4% for 2011. The effective tax rate in 2012 reflects an income tax benefit for a non-cash adjustment to a deferred tax liability of $2.3 million related to the prior year. The effective tax rate for 2011 included a valuation allowance reversal related to various deferred tax assets, including net operating losses, for which a tax benefit was not previously recognized.

Equity in earnings

The Company's equity in earnings for 2012 and 2011 are as follows:

                                                              Year Ended December 31,
                                                               2012               2011
                                                                  (in thousands)
Equity in earnings of Grupo Vasconia:
Equity earnings before bargain purchase gain, tax
benefit and reduction in investment to fair value, net
of tax                                                     $      3,015         $  2,895
Bargain purchase gain in equity in earnings, net of
tax                                                               4,112               -
Tax benefit recorded in equity in earnings(1)                     1,116               -
Reduction in investment to fair value, net of tax                (1,336 )             -

Equity in earnings of Grupo Vasconia                              6,907            2,895
Equity in earnings (losses) of GSI                                 (727 )             21
Equity in earnings (losses) of other investments                    (99 )            446

                                                           $      6,081         $  3,362

Note:

(1) Income tax benefit related to the valuation allowance reversal for deferred taxes associated with the cumulative foreign currency translation adjustment.

Equity in earnings of Vasconia, net of taxes, was $6.9 million for 2012 and $2.9 million for 2011. Vasconia reported income from operations for 2012 of $14.6 million compared to $17.3 million for 2011 and net income of $34.2 million in 2012 compared to $11.4 million in 2011. The increase in net income is primarily due to a $22.9 million bargain purchase gain recognized by Vasconia on its purchase of Almexa, an aluminum mill and manufacturer of aluminum foil.

Equity in earnings for 2012 also includes a loss of $0.7 million from the Company's 40% equity interest in GSI and losses of $0.1 million related to other investments. Equity in earnings for 2011 includes income of $0.5 million derived from the Company's 50% joint venture investment in World Alliance Enterprises Limited which was dissolved in 2012.


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2011 COMPARED TO 2010

Net Sales

Net sales for the year were $444.4 million, an increase of 0.3% compared to net sales of $443.2 million in 2010.

Net sales for the Wholesale segment in 2011 were $421.1 million, an increase of $7.3 million, or 1.8%, as compared to net sales of $413.8 million in 2010. Net sales for the Wholesale segment include $6.7 million of net sales in 2011 from Creative Tops, which was acquired by the Company in November 2011.Net sales for the Company's Kitchenware product category in 2011 were $215.7 million, an increase of $7.2 million, or 3.5%, as compared to net sales of $208.5 million in 2010. The increase in the Company's Kitchenware product category was primarily attributable to increased volumes due, in part, to successful new programs and promotions during the year as compared to 2010. Net sales for the Company's Tabletop product category in 2011 were $134.6 million, an increase of $11.2 million, or 9.1%, as compared to net sales of $123.4 million for 2010. The Tabletop product category sales increase was primarily attributable to higher volumes related to new programs and the successful promotion of certain tabletop lines which increased sales by $7.7 million. The Tabletop product category also benefited from an increase of $3.5 million in net sales of excess silver finished goods and from silver products produced under manufacturing contracts. Net sales for the Company's Home Solutions products category in 2011 were $64.1 million, a decrease of $17.8 million, or 21.7%, as compared to net sales of $81.9 million in 2010. The decrease in sales for the Company's Home Solutions product category reflects lower volumes due, in part, to certain sales programs in 2010 not repeated in the 2011 period.

Net sales for the Retail Direct segment in 2011 were $23.3 million, a decrease of $6.1 million, or 20.7%, as compared to $29.4 million for 2010. The decrease in net sales was primarily attributable to a reduction in promotional activities and the Company's decision to terminate its print consumer catalog during the second quarter of 2011.

Gross margin

Gross margin for 2011 was $162.3 million as compared to $169.4 million for 2010. Gross margin as a percentage of net sales was 36.5% for 2011 as compared to 38.2% for 2010.

Gross margin as a percentage of net sales for the Wholesale segment was 34.9% for 2011 compared to 36.3% for 2010. The decrease in gross margin primarily reflected promotional allowances and changes in product mix. Wholesale gross profit declined by $3.5 million. This was primarily due to the weakness of the Company's Home Solutions category for which net sales and gross margin declined in 2011. The decline was partially offset in other product categories and from the inclusion of Creative Tops, since its acquisition.

Gross margin as a percentage of net sales for the Retail Direct segment increased to 66.9% in 2011 from 65.1% in 2010. The increase in gross margin primarily reflected reduced promotional activities which favorably affected margins during the 2011 period.

Distribution expenses

Distribution expenses for 2011 were $43.9 million as compared to $44.6 million for 2010. Distribution expenses as a percentage of net sales were 9.9% in 2011 and 10.1% for 2010.

Distribution expenses as a percentage of sales for the Wholesale segment shipped from the Company's warehouses located in the United States were 9.4% as compared to 9.6% for the corresponding period in 2010. The decrease resulted from reduced labor costs in the 2011 period from efficiencies associated with an inventory management system upgrade put in place in the 2010 period.

Distribution expenses as a percentage of net sales for the Retail Direct segment were 29.8% for 2011 compared to 29.2% for 2010. A substantial portion of distribution expenses are fixed and, therefore, cannot be reduced to offset a reduction in sales volumes.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2011 were $93.9 million, a decrease of 1.2% compared to $95.0 million for 2010.


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SG&A for 2011 for the Wholesale segment were $71.4 million, an increase of $0.1 million or 0.1%, as compared to $71.3 million in 2010. As a percentage of net sales, SG&A expenses were 17.0% for 2011, as compared to 17.2 % for 2010. Excluding the expenses of Creative Tops, SG&A declined by $1.0 million. This decline in SG&A was the result of reductions of bad debt expense and certain office related expenses which substantially offset an increase in employee related and selling expenses.

SG&A expenses for 2011 for the Retail Direct segment were $9.2 million compared to $11.5 million for 2010. The decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease in employee, selling and office related expenses associated with the Company's decision to terminate its print consumer catalog.

Unallocated corporate expenses for 2011 and 2010 were $13.3 million and $12.2 million, respectively. The increase was primarily attributable to acquisition related expenses of $2.0 million, which was partially offset by a reduction in other professional fees.

Interest expense

Interest expense for 2011 was $7.8 million as compared to $9.4 million for 2010. The decrease in interest expense was primarily attributable to lower average interest rates and lower average borrowings. The most significant factor in the rate reduction related to the retirement of the Notes.

Loss on early retirement of debt

During 2010, the Company entered into a new revolving credit facility and Term Loan and repurchased $50.9 million principal amount of its convertible senior notes. In connection with these activities, the Company incurred a non-cash pre-tax charge of approximately $764,000 consisting primarily of the write-off of deferred financing costs and unamortized debt discount related to the Company's prior revolving credit facility and the Notes that were repurchased.

Income tax provision

The income tax provision was $6.1 million in 2011 and $4.6 million in 2010. The effective tax rates for the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 reflect taxes on income derived from U.S. sources and a reduction in valuation allowances related to the utilization of certain deferred tax assets during each year, for which a tax benefit was not previously recognized. The valuation allowance reversal in 2011 related to deferred tax assets for net operating losses which became realizable and deferred taxes for stock options, deferred rent and other temporary differences. The valuation allowance reversal reduced the effective tax rate by 8.2% and 19.8% in 2011 and 2010, respectively. The effective tax rates for 2011 and 2010 were 36.4% and 23.4% respectively.

Equity in earnings

Equity in earnings of Vasconia, net of taxes, was $2.9 million for 2011 and $2.7 million for 2010. Vasconia reported net income of $11.4 million in 2011 compared to $9.9 million in 2010. This increase in net income in 2011 compared to 2010 was primarily attributable to higher sales volumes in both the kitchenware products and aluminum products divisions.

Equity in earnings for 2011 also included equity income of $447,000 derived from the Company's 50% joint venture investment in World Alliance Enterprises Limited and equity income of $20,000 earned since December 9, 2011, the date of the Company's acquisition of a 40% equity interest in GSI.


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CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES

Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations discusses the Company's consolidated financial statements which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and with the instructions to Form 10-K and Article 10 of Regulation S-X. The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial . . .

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