Helen of Troy

Helen of Troy’s headquarters on the Westside. The global consumer products giant employs about 400 people in El Paso.

Helen of Troy, the $1.5-billion maker of kitchen and beauty products, reported strong earnings growth in its latest quarter, driven by sales of housewares, including its OXO and Hydro Flask products.

The El Paso-based company said Wednesday that its net earnings were $69 million in the quarter that ended Nov. 30, a 39% increase compared to a year ago. And its net sales grew 10%.

“The housewares segment again led our sales growth with healthy consumption ahead of our expectations, from both OXO and Hydro Flask,” chief executive Julien Mininberg said in a news release.

Helen of Troy (NASDAQ: HELE), one of two publicly traded companies in El Paso, produces products under many familiar brands, including Vicks, Hot Tools and Braun.

The company was founded as a wig shop in 1968 in Downtown El Paso. It now has about 1,500 employees, including 400 in El Paso, and has operations across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, China and Hong Kong.

Helen of Troy’s most significant move in the third quarter was entering into an agreement to acquire Drybar Products, a popular hair care line. The company announced the $255-million deal in December, and it is slated to close by the end of the month.

The company reported Wednesday that its online sales grew about 30% year over year. Mininberg said that Hydro Flask, which the company acquired in 2016, was the most searched brand on Amazon for the month of October. More consumers, he said, are looking for reusable bottles that are insulated.

“There is a further very welcome reaction from consumers against single-use plastic water bottles which are difficult from an environmental standpoint,” Mininberg said. “That kind of thing is increasingly taboo.”

Helen of Troy raised its outlook for fiscal year 2020, saying it expects consolidated sales revenue to be in the range of $1.65 billion to $1.67 billion and sales growth in the range of 5.5% and 7.1%.

The stock rose nearly 6% after the company reported its earnings Wednesday. It closed Friday at $189.56 a share, up 4.7% for the week.