Helen of Troy Ltd. designs, develops and markets brand-name personal care and household consumer products. The company yesterday announced its financial results for the second quarter and half-year ended August 31, 2009, posting increases in net earnings and record sales.

The company posted second-quarter sales at $162.19 million, up 5.6 percent from $153.54 million for the second quarter of 2008. Second-quarter net earnings were $15.91 million, or $0.51 per fully diluted share, as compared to $10.60 million, or $0.34 per fully diluted share, for the same period last year.

The company reported sales for the six months ended August 31, 2009 increased 2.5 percent to $306.07 million, as compared to $298.55 million the previous year. Net earnings for the first half of this fiscal year increased 88.3 percent to $30.42 million, or $0.99 per fully diluted share, versus $16.16 million, or $0.52 per fully diluted share, in the same period of last year.

Gerald J. Rubin, chairman, CEO and president of Helen of Troy said the second-quarter results reflect the company’s position in the industry and its recent strategic partnerships.

“We are extremely pleased with our results for the second quarter. Although the worldwide retail environment continues to be challenging, our leadership position in our market segments allowed us to continue to perform well during the quarter. During the six months ended August 31, 2009, our Housewares division continued to expand our OXO brand with the completion of two strategic licensing agreements with Staples Inc., the world’s largest office products company, and UCB, a global biopharmaceutical leader. These two partnerships extend OXO’s reach into new and exciting categories,” Rubin stated in the press release.

As of August 31, 2009, the company had cash, cash equivalents, trading securities and long-term investments of $33.11 million and shareholders’ equity of $540.17 million. Helen of Troy also reported its repayment of $75 million of its five-year Senior Notes that matured in June 2009.

“We believe our company’s core strengths remain strong, and we continue to work on the five company initiatives detailed in our 2009 annual report. We continue to execute our business plan by introducing new product offerings, striving for increased market share through channel expansion and providing product innovation. We also continue to pursue further process efficiencies and related selling, general and administrative expense reductions. We believe we are well positioned as we move into the holiday selling season,” Rubin stated.