May 6, 2011, 4:41 PM

The web weighs in favorably for Weight Watchers in Q1

E-commerce and total sales grew by 66% and 30%, respectively.

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E-commerce achieved the biggest gain in sales for Weight Watchers International Inc. in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

For the quarter ended April 2, Weight Watchers reported:

  • Online sales of $92 million, up by 66.4% from $55.3 million in the first quarter of 2010.
  • North American sales of $246.7 million, a 35.2% increase from $182.5 million.
  • International sales of $123.2 million, up by 6.5% from $115.7 million.
  • Total sales of $503.4 million, up by about 29.7% from $388.0 million in Q1 2010.
  • Net income was $73.6 million, a 65% increase from $44.6 million in the prior year period.
  • Online subscribers of 1.81 million, an increase of about 86.2% from 972,000 in Q1 2010.

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 18.3% of total Q1 sales, compared with 14.3% in the same period last year.

“We expect continuing strong performance as we proceed through the rest of 2011, although our year-over-year quarterly growth rate will moderate as we begin to lap the launch of our new marketing strategy in the second quarter of last year,” says David Kirchhoff, president and CEO of Weight Watchers, No. 81 in the new 2011 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Recent investments include mobile technology and marketing aimed at men, Kirchhoff says.

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