Tupperware Brands Corporation ( TUP)

Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call

October 25, 2011 08:30 ET

Executives

Rick Goings – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Nicky Decker – Vice President, Investor Relations and Strategy

Analysts

Dara Mohsenian – Morgan Stanley

Linda Bolton Weiser – Caris

Jason Gere – RBC Capital Markets

Sofya Tsinis – JPMorgan

Mark Schwartz – SunTrust

John San Marco – Janney Capital Markets

Olivia Tong – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Presentation

Operator

Good morning and welcome to Tupperware Corporation Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. I would now like to turn the call over to Rick Goings, Chairman and CEO of Tupperware Brands. Mr. Goings, please go ahead.

Rick Goings – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, (Dorisa). Good morning everyone. I am here with Mike Poteshman and Nicky Decker. As always, you know the drill on forward-looking statements, so I’d refer you to our company’s position in our filings.

The third quarter was another good quarter for us. Sales were up in all of our segments and a 10% overall increase in local currency. Our emerging markets grew 19% and continued to play an important role in our portfolio. And in this quarter, not surprisingly, we are about 63% of sales in the quarter. I think we all have to remember many Western Europeans tend to go on vacation during this time. We see it each and every year. So, we typically see the contribution from emerging markets go up little higher this quarter.

Our established markets as a whole were down slightly, but I’ll get a little bit more granular on that in just a moment. Being a global portfolio that derives almost 90% of our sales and even more of our profit outside the U.S., that means that changes in foreign exchange having meaningful impact on us. I will also remind you that when we did a regression analysis for the decade of the nine days, 90 through the year 2000, it was basically neutral and when we did it for the first decade of this new millennium, it was $0.05 negative, so it does. We have enough of a natural market basket.

For the third quarter, we included an $0.08 benefit versus last year in our July outlook, but all of our key profit currencies really weakened against the dollar in the last months of the quarter and this meant that we lost $0.04 of this benefit. I am particularly proud of how our management teams around the world were able to adjust and we were able to come in with an adjusted earnings per share of $0.83 even with this negative which was just $0.01 below the high end of our range and an impressive 30% higher than last year.

Also as you saw in our release, we did an incremental $100 million more in share repurchase in the quarter than we had planned. Actually we did this, we took the opportunistic action in light of the drop in the stock price, our confidence in our ability to grow the company, and our low leverage profile versus the target we have set 1.5 times debt to EBITDA. All-in-all, we spent $196 million on share repurchase in the quarter and we bought in 3.2 million shares. Also worth noting, our Board made a decision today to double our share repurchase authorization to $1.2 billion and that will give us the opportunity in support of buyback program for quite sometime.

Now, turning to local currency sales performances let me start with our European segment. Our emerging markets in Europe grew 2% in the quarter with mid-teen growth in our South African beauty businesses and good growth in a number of our smaller units. This was partially offset by an 8% decrease in Russia, which by the way, was a significant improvement in trends as a matter of fact we are starting to see progress and we are also starting to lapse an easier comparisons.

Talking about Russia, now we saw improvement there in our recruiting and productivity KPIs during the quarter. And going forward, we expect this trend line to continue to improve as we work on further strengthening our distributions and closing the gap in our sales for size which stood at about 22% down at the end of September.

Our European established markets grew 4% in the quarter and I am pleased to report a 9% increase in Germany and I believe it’s been almost a decade since we saw that. It is our largest Tupperware market worldwide and it’s strictly reinforcing things to us about this movement is this performance highlights, the big steps and the effectiveness of the established market strategies. It’s taken longer to implement them in Germany, but they’re really getting traction. It’s a very important market for us and it’s great to see them yielding these results.

Heading south to our business in Italy, it’s a market where we really never brought it up to its full potential for its large market as it is, and is healthy as the direct selling environment is. We’ve invested heavily in that business this year and it’s good to see sales pop over 30% in the quarter, we’ve never seen that in Italy.

We moved a new Managing Director, Michael Challis, into that market who has had great successes in other markets, and he is really bringing new energy to the business. Anyway that said we’ll be moderating our level of investment in Italy going forward.

Turning to France, there we were down in the quarter, but most of this was due to promotional timing. Our sales force advantage has slipped a bit, but the underlying business there is very, very solid and we expect to return to nice growth in the fourth quarter.

I want to turn to Asia-Pacific briefly, there we had another good quarter. Our emerging markets in the Pacific Rim which accounted for 70% of the sales and that segment were up almost 30%. Indonesia, which is our largest market in Asia-Pacific, and by the way the fourth largest population in the world, it grew 47% and ended the quarter with 20% more sellers than last year. So you can see we’re not only growing there in sales force size or number of doors, but in really their productivity as well and that’s also a very positive precursor for the future.

I was just in India and it’s great to see our business there. We now have 130,000 in our sales force, an incredible 68% growth in the quarter. Sales force is up 50% versus last year. Both of these markets, India and Indonesia have just done a great job at embracing and executing our core fundamental mission and really there focus is changing women’s lives through the opportunities we offer.

As a matter of fact, News Week magazine is calling it the Tupperware Effect and it basically means, our business model microfinance’s a women, provides her free training, a coach at no cost to her, and through this help and earning money she tastes success and that success leads to confidence and then increases the impact she has and influence not only her family but the community. So it’s really starting to work there.

Number of other markets that are emerging markets in Asia also had strong double digit sales growth in the quarter and the lists goes on; Malaysia, Singapore up 20%, China up 22% and Korea up 12%. Our Asia-Pacific established markets really is mostly only Japan and Australia, they were down 10% in the quarter. Sales in Tupperware Japan were down 5% in the quarter. We’ve been telling you about the changes we’re making to our business model there including the focus on building more sellers who are selling Tupperware products and raising the standards and we’re making very good progress there. We’ve got in that business back to break-even again the first time in a couple of years and we’re establishing the standards really to take the more casual obvious out of the business which were hurting productivity.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com