This has been a great week in direct sale aka network marketing as more and more companies released their first quarter numbers. Plus many of the companies are catching the eyes of folks outside of the network marketing community and are being nominated for some special awards.
Good afternoon. Vemma is pleased to announce our selection as a Finalist in seven categories in the 2013 American Business Awards. The award categories range from new product of the year, to apps, to best convention of the year. Vemma Founder and CEO BK Boreyko was named a finalist in the Executive of the Year category. As finalists, Vemma and BK will ultimately be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie® Awards in these categories. Final judging will be announced over the next four months. Read it all at Pitch Engine
According to a recent report by the International Chamber of Commerce, it is estimated that, by 2015, piracy and counterfeiting worldwide will cost the U.S. $17 trillion and put 2.5 million jobs at risk. (Read the full report from the DSA here)
DSA Continues Proactive Liaison Activities with State Leaders
DSA’s efforts to expand and foster relationships with federal and state legislators and regulators to promote and advocate on behalf of the industry continue unabated. In light of recent industry challenges, DSA staff are seeking more opportunities for engagement, beyond their continued participation in numerous events hosted by the Republican Attorneys General Association, the Democratic Attorneys General Association, the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. Outreach to Attorneys General and regional Federal Trade Commission officials is part of these expanded efforts.
Earlier this month, DSA Executive Vice President Adolfo Franco and attorney Jeff Hanscom met with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who stated “it is precisely this type of proactive outreach that makes a huge difference as we can learn about industry issues and you have the benefit of knowing any concerns we have” concerning your industry.
This week DSA Attorney John Webb attended a luncheon with Maine Senate President Justin Alfond. Senator Alfond has a strong business background and spoke about his efforts to foster a good business climate in Maine. John discussed with him the important contributions direct sellers make to the American and Maine economies and the critical role independent contractors play in direct selling.
At the end of this week, Jeff is attending the Democratic Attorneys General Association Spring Policy Conference in Rhode Island. These meetings give DSA the opportunity to meet with a number of Attorneys General at one time and discuss current issues impacting the industry, as well as ensure state Attorneys General understand the difference between legitimate direct selling companies and illegal pyramid schemes.
Networkers In The News
Al Bala has been promoted to Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Mannatech. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing with the company.
Jill Blashack Strahan, Founder and CEO of Tastefully Simple, has been named to the Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame. Blashack Strahan was one of the first 25 inductees to the newly established Hall of Fame.
Direct Selling Companies In The News
Amway is investing $20 million to build a second manufacturing plant in Vietnam as part of its global manufacturing expansion. Scheduled for completion in 2015, the new facility in Binh Duong will produce the company’s Nutrilite™ brand of vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, as well as personal care products. The existing Vietnam manufacturing site for Amway is located in the province of Dong Nai. Based in Ho Chi Minh, Amway Vietnam celebrates five years of operation in 2013.
In additional company news, Amway’s parent company, Alticor, placed 14th in the Top 20 Companies of The Patent Board’s Consumer Products industry scorecard, published on WSJ.com, for the 13-week period ending in April 2013. The ranking seeks to measure the overall strength of the company’s patent portfolio holdings with a combined measure of quality and quantity. The company ranked first in Research Intensity™, one of the categories used to determine the final ranking.
Further, the Amway Opportunity Foundation (AOF) hosted a National Summit on Corporate Social Responsibility—Sustainable Development in Delhi, India. The event was presided over by Anurag Thakur, Member of Parliament, joint secretary of BCCI and member of the Indian Olympic association, along with Samir Behl, regional president of Amway Corporation (Europe, India, Africa) and William Pinckney, MD, CEO of Amway India and chairman of the AOF. The AOF also announced the institution of AOF Young Achievers Awards—the national platform from AOF to recognize the talent and efforts of young achievers from differently abled persons from India.
The Avon Foundation for Women recently awarded $300,000 to A&G Pharmaceutical at the 11th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Washington, D.C. It is the third such award A&G has received from the Avon Foundation and will enable A&G to continue the development of the GP88 blood test for use in the fight against breast cancer.
Blyth, parent company of PartyLite and pending member ViSalus, has reported sales and earnings for the first quarter of 2013. Net sales for the three months ended March 31, 2013, decreased approximately 14 percent to $233.1 million from $270.2 million for the comparable prior-year period, primarily due to lower sales at ViSalus and, to a lesser extent, at PartyLite, while Miles Kimball reported a sales improvement. Blyth’s operating profit for the first quarter was $6 million this year versus $19.2 million last year, largely driven by the decline in sales. In the Health & Wellness segment, first-quarter net sales decreased 24 percent to $104.3 million versus $136.7 million for the same period last year, largely reflecting the reduction in promoter counts in Canada and, to a lesser extent, in the U.S. At the end of the first quarter, qualified independent North American promoters totaled more than 70,000 versus more than 92,000 promoters at the end of the prior year’s first quarter. Health & Wellness first-quarter segment operating profit was $4.2 million this year versus $18.6 million last year. Candles & Home Decor sales were $91 million in the first quarter, versus $99.8 million for the same period last year, a decline of nine percent. This decline reflects the lower levels of sales consultants in many of the company’s larger, more mature markets. PartyLite’s U.S. sales declined 21 percent versus the prior-year period. Active U.S. independent sales consultants totaled more than 12,000 at the end of the first quarter versus approximately 15,000 last year.View the full press release online.
CVSL, parent company of Longaberger, announced plans to acquire DSA pending member Your Inspiration At Home. The Australian-based company will make its U.S. headquarters at Longaberger’s headquarters in Ohio, according to CVSL spokesman and board member Russell Mack.
Herbalife has been presented with a Consumer Protection Guarantee award in Thailand. The award is given by the Consumer Protection Board, which operates under the supervision of the Office of the Prime Minister of Thailand. Presented by the Prime Minister’s Office as part of the Thai Consumer Protection Day event, the award recognizes Herbalife’s commitment to consumer protection and its dedication to providing high-quality nutrition products to Thai consumers.
In additional company news, Herbalife announced that its North American call center has been placed in the Top 20 of the Top 100 Call Center Award for 2013 from BenchmarkPortal.
Further, two of Herbalife’s corporate responsibility programs—TEAM Herbalife and Casa Herbalife—were named on the “Best Social Projects of Russia” list in 2012. “Best Social Projects of Russia” is a national program established to support the aim of the Russian government to improve social policy, based on partnership between the state, society and the private sector.
Mannatech has reported a net income of $600,000 for the first quarter ending March 31, 2013, as compared to a net loss of $1.4 million for the first quarter of 2012. Net sales for the first quarter of 2013 were $41.7 million, a decrease of 6.3 percent as compared to $44.5 million in the first quarter of 2012. Net sales for North America declined 8.9 percent to $20.5 million as compared to $22.5 million in the first quarter of 2012. Recruiting increased 16.6 percent in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to the first quarter of 2012. The number of new independent associates and members for the first quarter of 2013 was approximately 23,900, as compared to 20,500 in 2012. The total number of independent associates and members based on a 12-month trailing period was approximately 231,000 as of March 31, 2013, as compared to 227,000 as of March 31, 2012. Net sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa declined 12.8 percent to $3.4 million as compared to $3.9 million in the first quarter of 2012. This decline was in part due to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and in part due to the reduction in the number of orders processed. Excluding the fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rates, net sales for the region declined by 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2013, as compared to the net sales for the first quarter of 2012. View the full press release online.
Mary Kay employees, volunteers and distributors recently came together to build a home with Habitat for Humanity in Dallas. Mary Kay has sponsored 10 Habitat for Humanity homes in Dallas.
Medifast, parent company of Take Shape for Life, reported financial results for the first quarter of 2013. Medifast net revenue increased eight percent to $96 million from net revenue of $88.9 million in the first quarter of the prior year. Each of the company’s three primary distribution channels, Take Shape for Life, Medifast Direct, and Medifast Weight Control Centers and Wholesale Physicians, contributed to this year-over-year revenue increase. Revenue in the direct sales channel, Take Shape for Life, increased 12 percent to $59.4 million in the first quarter of 2013, compared to $53 million in the same period last year. Growth in revenue for Take Shape for Life was driven by increased customer product sales. The company ended the first quarter with approximately 11,300 active health coaches and the average revenue per health coach per month for the quarter increased four percent to $1,720 compared to $1,650 in the first quarter of 2012. View the full press release online.
Natural Health Trends, parent company of NHT Global, announced financial results for the first quarter of 2013. Total revenues were $8.7 million compared to $9.1 million in the first quarter last year and $8.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. The year-over-year decrease in revenues for the first quarter reflects a change in the company’s promotional plans. In 2013, a cash promotion in Greater China runs through the entire year. In 2012, the comparable cash promotion ended at June 30. Net income available to common stockholders of Natural Health Trends was $283,000, compared to net income of $503,000 last year. Cash and cash equivalents increased to $5.2 million as of March 31, 2013, from $4.2 million at Dec. 31, 2012. Cash flow from operations increased 18 percent year-over-year. View the full press release online.
Nature’s Sunshine Products reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2013. Net sales were $96.5 million, compared with $92.9 million in the same quarter a year ago, an increase of 3.9 percent, and net sales increased 4.2 percent in local currencies. As of March 31, 2013 and 2012, total active managers worldwide were 18,200 and 19,000, respectively, while total active distributors and customers worldwide were 341,200 and 349,100, respectively. Net income was $4.9 million, compared with $7.2 million in the same quarter a year ago, a decrease of 32.7 percent. For NSP Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, net sales for the first quarter were $53.1 million, compared with $53.9 million in the same quarter a year ago, a decrease of 1.5 percent. Active managers within the region totaled approximately 9,100 and 10,200 at March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Active distributors and customers within the region totaled approximately 157,300 and 169,200 at March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. For NSP Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, first quarter net sales were $16.1 million, compared with $15.6 million in the same quarter a year ago, an increase of 3.5 percent. Active managers within the region totaled approximately 6,000 and 5,900 at March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Active distributors and customers within the region totaled approximately 130,000 and 127,000 at March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Synergy WorldWide reported first-quarter net sales were $27.2 million, compared with $23.3 million in the same quarter a year ago, an increase of 16.5 percent. Active managers within Synergy WorldWide totaled approximately 3,100 and 2,900 at March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Active distributors and customers within Synergy WorldWide totaled approximately 53,900 and 52,900 at March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. View the full press release online.
Primerica announced financial results for the first quarter of 2013. Total revenues were $308.4 million in the first quarter of 2013 and net income was $38.8 million. In the first quarter of 2013 operating revenues increased by eight percent to $306.2 million, compared with $284.5 million in the first quarter of 2012, driven by continued growth in the Term Life business, as well as strong Investment and Savings Products sales and the favorable impact of market performance on client asset values. Net operating income was $39.3 million in the first quarter of 2013 compared with $42.4 million in the prior-year period. First-quarter salesforce results were in line with expectations as the company recruited 46,348 new representatives and life insurance licensed 7,165 representatives. The size of the salesforce was 90,917 as of March 31, 2013. View the full press release online.
Regal Ware recently awarded Nicholas Bier with an academic scholarship. He will receive $2,000 for each of his four years of college studies. To qualify for a Regal Ware Scholarship a student must be a high school senior, maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and be the child of a Regal Ware employee.
Source for most of the info above came from the Direct Selling Association