Heelys, Inc. reported that on a consolidated basis, net sales in the first quarter increased $1.2 million from $6.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011, to $7.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012.
Domestic net sales increased $482,000 from $1.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011, to $2.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012. The increase in domestic sales was primarily the result of expanded placement, when compared to last year, in existing and new retail outlets. International net sales increased $686,000 from $4.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011, to $5.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012. The increase in international sales was primarily the result of increased sales to third party distributors, sales in Japan during the first quarter of 2012 and sales of new product lines. While sales of HEELYS-wheeled footwear were down in our French and German markets, when compared to the same period last year, these decreases were offset by sales of Blazer Pro and District scooters and accessories and Tony Hawk skateboards which accounted for approximately $433,000 of sales for the three months ended March 31, 2012.
Consolidated gross profit margin decreased to 44.3% for the three months ended March 31, 2012, from 49.3% for the three months ended March 31, 2011. This decrease was primarily the result of a larger percentage of total sales mix coming from lower margin U.S. product sales, and changes in the mix of customers and the sale of products at a discount in our international markets.
Selling, general and administrative expenses, excluding restructuring charges (discussed below), increased $324,000, primarily as a result of increased marketing in our Japanese market, increased shipping and handling costs as a result of increased sales in Japan and increased costs directly attributable to our Japanese operations.
As part of an initiative to improve efficiency and reduce costs, the Company began taking steps in the first quarter of 2012 to close its office in Brussels, Belgium and transition the business operations conducted through that office to its French and German offices. In connection with these initiatives, the Company recorded $431,000 in severance and one-time termination benefit costs and $81,000 in other costs, including, but not limited to, costs to close the Company's office in Belgium, transfer its business operations to its German and French offices, and repatriate the Company's Vice President, International back to the United States. In addition, the Company recognized $34,000 in fixed asset impairment charges related to these initiatives. The actions taken thus far to implement this restructuring are expected to be substantially completed by June 30, 2012, with the total cumulative pre-tax costs estimated to be $0.9 million to $1.3 million.
Loss from operations increased $655,000, from a loss of $1.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011, to a loss of $1.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012, primarily as a result of the decrease in gross margins and the restructuring charges recognized during the first quarter of 2012.
The Company reported a net loss of $1.6 million, or $(0.06) per fully diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, 2012, versus a net loss of $1.2 million, or $(0.04) per fully diluted share for the three months ended March 31, 2011.
Combined cash and investments decreased $84,000, to $58.3 million as of March 31, 2012, from $58.4 million as of December 31, 2011, as a result of cash used in operating activities. The decrease in accounts receivables was primarily a result of decreased sales during the first quarter of 2012 versus during the fourth quarter of 2011, as well as timing; the decrease in inventories was primarily a result of sales during the first quarter of 2012 combined with managed inventory purchases to maintain appropriate inventory levels; and, the decrease in accounts payable and accrued liabilities is primarily due to payment of inventory purchase related liabilities that were outstanding as of December 31, 2011. Cash flows from changes in operating assets/liabilities are subject to seasonality.
Tom Hansen, chief executive officer of the Company, commented, “First quarter 2012 represents our fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales increases in the United States. International sales increased for the three months ended March 31, 2012, when compared to the same period last year, in part due to our distribution of third party products like Blazer Pro and District stunt scooters as well as Tony Hawk skateboards. We expect international sales, especially in Europe, to continue to be subject to uncertain economic conditions, but we are negotiating with new distributors in Central and South America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia and anticipate additional revenue if and as they come online. We have also begun the process of closing our office in Brussels, Belgium. Customer service and transactional functions will be handled through our offices in Annecy, France and Munich, Germany, with financial management and reporting, legal oversight and inventory logistics support moving to our offices in Carrollton, Texas. Not only do we believe that this will reduce costs but we believe that the flatter structure will bring us closer to our customers globally, simplify operations and increase inventory efficiencies.”