Natural Health Trends Corp. (NHTC—NASDAQ) on Tuesday reported record annual sales of $264.9 million, driven by operations in Hong Kong.
Sales of the company’s personal-care, wellness and lifestyle products were up 113 percent from 2014, in a second consecutive year of triple-digit percentage growth. Operating income rose 130 percent to $47.9 million. Earnings were $3.82 per share, versus $1.61 a year ago.
“2015 was a record year for Natural Health Trends, and we are very pleased with all we have accomplished,” company President Chris Sharng said in a statement. “The triple-digit increase in revenue and net income over 2014 was driven by impressive growth in our active member base as well as the ongoing development of our leadership programs, product development initiatives, and successful execution of our marketing programs and member services.”
In the last three months of 2015, revenue totaled $73.7 million, up 108 percent from the prior year. NHTC Hong Kong accounted for 92 percent, or $67.7 million, of total revenue. Sales outside Hong Kong increased 27 percent. Quarterly earnings rose to $1.13 per share from 45 cents per share in the last quarter of 2014.
The California-based company said its Active Member base grew by 15 percent in the fourth quarter. Limited to those individuals who have placed at least one product order with NHTC in the preceding 12 months, the company’s Active Members numbered 109,360 at the close of 2015.
Management also addressed a handful of online posts Jan. 13 statement, NHTC said its staff attorney and branch manager had met with Beijing Chaoyang District SAIC, the Public Security Bureau and two of the accusers to dispute the claims. As a result, government authorities advised the company that, online rumors notwithstanding, there was insufficient evidence to warrant an investigation of NHTC.
To offset any potential negative impact from the accusations, the company’s board has approved an increase in its ongoing share buyback, raising the ceiling to $70 million. “Their authorization of an additional $55 million for repurchases underscores their confidence. Separately, we are in regular contact with Chinese officials at several government agencies,” said Sharng.