Alberto Culver Company (the company or New Alberto Culver) develops, manufactures, distributes and markets beauty care products as well as food and household products in the United States and more than 100 other countries. The company is organized into two reportable business segments—United States and International. The company’s consolidated net sales were $1.43 billion, $1.44 billion and $1.32 billion for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. Beauty care products accounted for approximately 94% of the company’s consolidated net sales during each of the fiscal years ended September 30, 2009, 2008 and 2007. Food and household products accounted for approximately 6% of the company’s consolidated net sales during each of the fiscal years ended September 30, 2009, 2008 and 2007. See note 10 to the consolidated financial statements for more information regarding the company’s segments.
The company’s beauty care products marketed in the United States include the Alberto VO5, TRESemmé, Nexxus and Consort lines of hair care products, the St. Ives and Noxzema lines of skin care products, FDS feminine deodorant sprays and the Motions, Soft & Beautiful, Just For Me, TCB and Comb-Thru lines of multicultural hair care products. Food and household products sold in the United States include Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning blends, Static Guard anti-static spray, Molly McButter butter flavored sprinkles, SugarTwin sugar substitute and Kleen Guard furniture polish.
In the United Kingdom and Europe, the company sells products which include the Alberto VO5, TRESemmé, Alberto Balsam and Andrew Collinge lines of hair care products and the St. Ives line of skin care products.
In Canada, the company sells most of the products marketed in the United States along with the Alberto European line of hair care products.
In Latin America, the significant products sold by the company include the Alberto VO5, TRESemmé, Antiall and Folicure lines of hair care products, the St. Ives line of skin care products, Veritas soap and deodorant body powder products and Farmaco soap products. The company’s principal markets in Latin America are Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Argentina and Chile.
The company’s beauty care products, including Alberto VO5, TRESemmé, St. Ives and the various multicultural hair care brands, are also sold in Australia and New Zealand and portions of Asia and Africa.
The company also performs custom label manufacturing of other companies’ beauty care products in the United States.
For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2009, approximately 36% of the company’s net sales were from international operations. As of September 30, 2009, approximately 38% of the company’s identifiable assets were located in international locations.
The company’s sales force and independent brokers sell its retail beauty care products and food and household products by calling on retail outlets such as mass merchandisers, supermarkets, drug stores, dollar stores, wholesalers and variety stores. The company’s sales representatives and brokers sell its multicultural professional hair care products in the United States to mass merchandisers, drug stores and supermarkets and to beauty supply outlets and beauty distributors, who in turn sell to beauty salons, barber shops and beauty schools.
The company’s consumer products are sold to various retail outlets internationally in more than 100 countries, primarily through its subsidiaries, independent distributors and licensees. The company’s foreign operations are subject to risks inherent in transactions involving foreign currencies and political uncertainties.
Trademarks and Patents
The company’s trademarks, certain of which are material to its business, are registered or legally protected in the United States, Canada and other countries throughout the world in which products of the company are sold. Although the company owns patents and has other patent applications pending, its business is not materially dependent upon patents or patent protection.
In its domestic and foreign operations, the company had approximately 2,500 employees as of September 30, 2009, consisting of about 1,100 hourly personnel and 1,400 salaried employees. Certain subsidiaries of the company have union contracts covering production, warehouse, shipping and maintenance personnel. The company considers relations with its employees to be satisfactory.