NEW YORK, Aug. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –Weight Watchers International, Inc. ( WTW ) today announced its results for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 and revised its fiscal 2012 earnings guidance.
Second quarter 2012 highlights include:
Revenues of $484.8 million, up 2.3% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period, with total paid weeks up 11.1% versus the prior year period
Internet revenues of $135.6 million, up 31.0% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period, with Online paid weeks up 30.2% and end of period active Online subscribers up 26.4% versus the prior year period
Following the quarter end, the hiring of a new Chief Financial Officer, Nicholas Hotchkin, who will be joining the Company effective August 20, 2012
“Second quarter 2012 results were in line with our expectations, benefiting from 11% total paid weeks growth in the quarter versus the prior year period,” commented David Kirchhoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “Yet, since June we have seen a weakening in our trends so we are taking a more cautious view of our business for the second half of the year in light of difficult macro-economic trends, particularly in consumer sentiment. Therefore, we are revising our fiscal 2012 earnings guidance to a range of between $4.00 and $4.20 per fully diluted share.”
Q2 2012 Consolidated Summary
Second quarter 2012 net income was $77.5 million versus $87.0 million in the prior year period. Earnings per fully diluted share (EPS) for Q2 2012 were $1.36 versus $1.17 in the prior year period. Q2 2012 EPS benefited from the completion of the Company’s previously disclosed tender offer and related stock repurchase transaction. Foreign currency negatively impacted Q2 2012 EPS by approximately $0.06 per fully diluted share in the period.
Q2 2012 Global Results
Second quarter 2012 revenues increased 2.3% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period as the Company continued to benefit from strong global growth in the WeightWatchers.com business. This growth in the WeightWatchers.com business was offset in large part by lower sales in the meetings business as the Company experienced weaker volumes in North America and the UK.
Q2 2012 total paid weeks were up 11.1% as compared to the prior year period, similar to the 12.2% growth in paid weeks witnessed in Q1 2012 versus the prior year period, and on top of the 40.4% growth reported in Q2 2011 versus Q2 2010. Online paid weeks increased 30.2% versus the prior year period, on top of the 73.2% growth reported in Q2 2011 versus Q2 2010. Meeting paid weeks declined 4.7% versus the prior year period, similar to the 5.0% drop in Q1 2012 versus the prior year period and on top of the 21.5% growth reported in Q2 2011 versus Q2 2010.
Q2 2012 operating income increased slightly by 1.1% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period. Gross margin expansion from the higher margin WeightWatchers.com business was mostly offset by decreased operating leverage due to lower volumes in the meetings business and higher marketing expense as the Company continued to invest in strategic growth areas: namely, driving awareness of the Weight Watchers Online product to men and deploying first-time Online TV campaigns in several countries.
Q2 2012 NACO Performance
Second quarter 2012 meeting revenues for the North American meetings business (NACO) were down 6.5% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period, as a result of lower enrollment volumes. The lower enrollment volumes were the result of the continued impact of execution issues in the small-accounts corporate business and weakness in the traditional meetings business beginning late in the quarter. As a result, Q2 2012 meeting paid weeks and attendance decreased 5.5% and 9.9%, respectively, versus the prior year period.
Q2 2012 International Performance
Second quarter 2012 International meeting revenues were down 5.1% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period, with growth in Continental Europe (CE) more than offset by declines in the United Kingdom (UK).
UK: Second quarter 2012 UK meeting revenues decreased 12.5% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period due to continued impact from a less effective marketing campaign and weak macro-economic trends.
CE: Second quarter 2012 CE meeting revenues were up 4.9% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period, while paid weeks were up 11.0% versus the prior year period. Period-over-period improvements were driven by the continued impact of successful new marketing campaigns, particularly in France and Germany.
Q2 2012 WeightWatchers.com Performance
The WeightWatchers.com business continued to deliver strong growth in the second quarter of fiscal 2012, with Internet revenues up 31.0% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period. Online paid weeks were up 30.2%, and end of period active Online subscribers were up 26.4%, versus Q2 2011. Sign-up performance was particularly strong in the Continental European markets.
First Half 2012 Summary
First half fiscal 2012 net income was $132.1 million versus $160.6 million in the prior year period. EPS for the first half of fiscal 2012 was $2.01 versus $2.17 in the prior year period. The decrease in the Company’s period-over-period performance for the first half of fiscal 2012 was primarily the result of lower sales in the meetings business offset, in part, by growth in the WeightWatchers.com business.
First half fiscal 2012 EPS benefited from the completion of the Company’s tender offer and related stock repurchase transaction. These transactions, as previously disclosed, resulted in the repurchase of 18,279,289 shares in the aggregate of the Company’s common stock for approximately $1.5 billion in the aggregate.
First Half 2012 Global Results
First half 2012 revenues increased 1.4% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period as the Company continued to benefit from strong global growth in the WeightWatchers.com business. This growth in the WeightWatchers.com business was offset in large part by lower sales in the meetings business as the Company experienced weaker volumes in North America and the UK.
First half 2012 total paid weeks were up 11.6% as compared to the prior year period, on top of the 40.1% growth reported in the first half 2011 versus the first half 2010. First half 2012 meeting paid weeks and attendance decreased 4.8% and 10.2%, respectively, versus the prior year period, on top of the 22.0% and 15.6% growth in meeting paid weeks and attendance, respectively, in the first half 2011 versus the first half 2010. Online paid weeks increased 32.7% versus the prior year period, on top of the 72.8% growth reported in the first half 2011 versus the first half 2010.
Operating income for the first half 2012 decreased by 10.7% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period primarily driven by higher marketing expense as the Company invested in strategic growth areas: namely, marketing Weight Watchers Online to men in the United States and deploying first-time Online TV campaigns in several countries.
Full Year Fiscal 2012 Earnings Guidance
The Company has revised its full year 2012 earnings guidance to a range of between $4.00 and $4.20 per fully diluted share. This compares with the Company’s previously provided earnings guidance range of between $4.60 and $4.80 per fully diluted share.
Second Quarter 2012 Conference Call
The Company has scheduled a conference call today at 5:00 p.m. ET. During the conference call, David Kirchhoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, will discuss second quarter 2012 results and answer questions from the investment community. Live audio of the conference call will be simultaneously webcast over the Internet on the Company’s corporate website, www.weightwatchersinternational.com . A replay of the webcast will be available on this site for approximately 90 days.
Statement regarding Non-GAAP Financial Measures
The following provides information regarding non-GAAP financial measures used in this earnings release:
To supplement the Company’s consolidated results presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP), the Company has presented certain of its financial results on a constant currency basis in addition to GAAP results. Constant currency information compares results between periods as if exchange rates had remained constant period-over-period. In this release and any attachments, the Company calculates constant currency by calculating current-year results using prior-year foreign currency exchange rates.
Management believes this non-GAAP financial measure provides useful supplemental information for its and investors’ evaluation of the Company’s business performance and is useful for period-over-period comparisons of the performance of the Company’s business. While management believes that this financial measure is useful in evaluating the Company’s business, this information should be considered as supplemental in nature and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the related financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. In addition, this non-GAAP financial measure may not be the same as similarly entitled measures reported by other companies. See “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” attached to this release for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable GAAP measure.
About Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds over 45,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. WeightWatchers.com provides innovative, subscription weight management products over the Internet and is the leading Internet-based weight management provider in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control.
This news release and any attachments include “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of Section27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, in particular, earnings guidance and any statements about the Company’s plans, strategies and prospects. The Company generally uses the words “may,” “will,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “plan,” “intend” and similar expressions in this news release and any attachments to identify forward-looking statements. The Company bases these forward-looking statements on its current views with respect to future events and financial performance. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, among other things: competition from other weight management industry participants or the development of more effective or more favorably perceived weight management methods; the Company’s ability to continue to develop innovative new services and products and enhance its existing services and products, or the failure of its services and products to continue to appeal to the market; the effectiveness of the Company’s marketing and advertising programs; the impact on the Weight Watchers brand of actions taken by the Company’s franchisees, licensees and suppliers; risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s international operations, including economic, political and social risks and foreign currency risks; the Company’s ability to successfully make acquisitions or enter into joint ventures, including its ability to successfully integrate, operate or realize the projected benefits of such businesses; uncertainties related to a downturn in general economic conditions or consumer confidence; the seasonal nature of the Company’s business; the impact of events that discourage people from gathering with others; the Company’s ability to enforce its intellectual property rights both domestically and internationally, as well as the impact of its involvement in any claims related to intellectual property rights; uncertainties regarding the satisfactory operation of the Company’s information technology or systems; the impact of security breaches or privacy concerns; the impact of disputes with the Company’s franchise operators; the impact of existing and future laws and regulations; the impact of the Company’s debt service obligations and restrictive debt covenants; the possibility that the interests of the Company’s majority owner will conflict with the other holders of the Company’s common stock; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. You should understand that many important factors, including those discussed herein, could cause the Company’s results to differ materially from those expressed or suggested in any forward-looking statement. Except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect new information or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this news release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or otherwise. Readers are advised to review the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (which are available from the SEC’s EDGAR database at www.sec.gov , at various SEC reference facilities in the United States and via the Company’s website at www.weightwatchersinternational.com ).