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Weight Watchers Announces First Quarter 2011 Results and Raises Its Fiscal 2011 Earnings Guidance

NEW YORK, May 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) today announced its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 and raised its fiscal 2011 earnings guidance.

First quarter 2011 highlights include:

  • Revenues of $503.4 million, up 29.8% versus the prior year period, with global paid weeks up 39.7%
  • North American meeting revenues up 35.2% versus the prior year period, with meeting paid weeks up 32.6% and attendance up 33.1%
  • Internet revenues up 66.4% versus the prior year period, with Online paid weeks up 72.3% and end of period active Online subscribers up 86.6%
  • Q1 2011 EPS of $1.00, up 73.0% versus the prior year period

"I am very pleased with the Company's first quarter earnings which were the result of powerful marketing, extensive PR coverage and a strong new program innovation," commented David Kirchhoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "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."

Kirchhoff added, "With the strong results of Q1 2011 and despite accelerating investment in new initiatives such as mobile technology and marketing to men to fuel growth in 2012 and beyond, we are raising our full year 2011 earnings guidance range to $3.75 to $4.00 per fully diluted share from our previously provided earnings guidance range of $3.50 to $3.85 per fully diluted share."

Q1 Fiscal 2011 Summary

                 Net Income (in millions)               Fully Diluted EPS
                 ------------------------               -----------------
                 Three Months                       Three Months
                    Ended                               Ended
                -------------                      -------------
             April       April                April        April
               2,          3,          %        2,           3,          %
            ------      ------      Change   ------       ------      Change
              2011        2010      ------      2011        2010      ------
              ----        ----                  ----        ----
     /EPS    $73.6       $44.6         65.1%   $1.00       $0.58         73.0%

First quarter fiscal 2011 net income was $73.6 million versus $44.6 million in the prior year period. Earnings per fully diluted share (EPS) for Q1 2011 were $1.00 versus $0.58 in the prior year period. Increased volumes in both the meetings business and WeightWatchers.com business drove net income and EPS growth in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Volume growth was primarily the result of strong new program innovation launches, effective marketing, and extensive public relations activities in the Company's English-speaking markets.

Q1 2011 Global Results

    (in millions except
     percentages)                 Three Months Ended
                               April 2,      April 3, % Change    % Change
                               --------      -------- --------    --------
                                   2011          2010                for
                                   ----          ----            ---------
    Revenues                     $503.4        $388.0      29.8%       28.4%
                                 $135.7         $91.4      48.5%       46.9%
    Operating Income
                                   48.5          34.7      39.7%        N/A
    Total Paid Weeks
      Meeting Paid Weeks           27.8          22.7      22.5%        N/A
      Online Paid Weeks            20.7          12.0      72.3%        N/A
                                   17.6          14.7      20.3%        N/A

    See "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" attached to this
    release for further detail on adjustments to GAAP financial

First quarter 2011 revenues increased 28.4% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period, primarily driven by an effective marketing and public relations strategy implemented by the meetings business in North America and the WeightWatchers.com business, coupled with the very successful launches of the Company's new program innovation in all of its English-speaking markets. Strong performance in the Company's English-speaking markets was partially offset by weaker performance in the Continental European meetings business, which did not have a Q1 2011 program innovation.

Q1 2011 total paid weeks were up 39.7% as compared to the prior year period, driven primarily by strong meeting enrollment trends in the Company's English-speaking markets and signups for the Company's Online product. Online paid weeks increased a robust 72.3% versus the prior year period. Attendance was up 20.3% globally versus the prior year period.

Operating income growth of 46.9% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period exceeded revenue growth primarily as the result of stronger gross margin versus the prior year period as well as reductions, as a percentage of revenues, in both marketing expenses and selling, general and administrative expenses.

Q1 2011 NACO Performance

    (in millions except
     percentages)                   Three Months Ended
                                April 2,       April 3,  % Change   % Change
                                --------       --------  --------      for
                                     2011           2010            Currency
                                     ----           ----             --------
    Meeting Revenues               $246.7         $182.5      35.2%      34.7%
                                     18.4           13.9      32.6%       N/A
    Meeting Paid Weeks
    Attendance                       11.1            8.4      33.1%       N/A

    See "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" attached to this
    release for further detail on adjustments to GAAP financial

First quarter 2011 revenues for the North American meetings business (NACO) were up 35.2% versus the prior year period. Q1 2011 meeting paid weeks increased 32.6%, and attendance increased 33.1%, versus the prior year period. This first quarter performance benefited from the combined impact of a more effective marketing strategy, the launch of PointsPlus®, a major new program innovation, extensive public relations activity, and growth in the At Work business.

Q1 2011 International Performance

    (in millions except
     percentages)                   Three Months Ended
                                April 2,      April 3,  % Change    % Change
                                --------      --------  --------    --------
                                     2011          2010                for
                                     ----          ----            ---------
    International Meeting
     Revenues                      $123.2        $115.7       6.5%        4.0%
      UK Meeting Revenues           $49.8         $37.2      34.0%       30.1%
      CE Meeting Revenues           $54.9         $65.8     -16.6%      -16.1%
                                      9.4           8.8       6.7%        N/A
    International Meeting
     Paid Weeks
      UK Meeting Paid Weeks           5.1           4.1      21.9%        N/A
      CE Meeting Paid Weeks           3.4           3.9     -13.1%        N/A
                                      6.5           6.3       3.2%        N/A
    International Attendance
      UK Attendance                   3.6           2.9      22.2%        N/A
      CE Attendance                   2.2           2.8     -19.6%        N/A

    See "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" attached to this
    release for further detail on adjustments to GAAP financial

First quarter 2011 International meeting revenues were up 4.0% on a constant currency basis, with growth in the UK more than offsetting Continental Europe (CE) shortfalls.

  • UK: First quarter 2011 UK meeting revenues increased 30.1% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period due to the launch of the new program innovation, ProPoints®, and a new advertising campaign.
  • CE: First quarter 2011 CE meeting revenues were down 16.1% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year period as this region cycled against its prior year launch of the ProPoints program. CE was unable to sustain the growth generated by the new program launch in the prior year period as its 2010 marketing programs, although successful in growing rejoining member enrollments, were not able to attract new customer enrollments.

Q1 2011 WeightWatchers.com Performance

    (in millions except
     percentages and as
     noted)                     Three Months Ended
                            April 2,       April 3,  % Change  % Change
                            --------       --------  --------  --------
                                 2011           2010               for
                                 ----           ----            --------
    Internet Revenues           $92.0          $55.3     66.4%      64.9%
                                 20.7           12.0     72.3%       N/A
    Online Paid Weeks
    End of Period Active
     Online Subscribers (in
     thousands)                 1,813            972     86.6%       N/A

    See "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" attached to this
    release for further detail on adjustments to GAAP financial

The WeightWatchers.com business continued to deliver outstanding top-line growth in the first quarter of 2011 versus the prior year period, with Internet revenues up 64.9% on a constant currency basis. The growth was driven by the combination of highly effective advertising campaigns globally and a new program innovation in North America and other English-speaking markets. Globally, Online paid weeks were up 72.3% and end of period active Online subscribers were up 86.6% versus the prior year period.

Full Year Fiscal 2011 Earnings Guidance

The Company has raised its full year 2011 earnings guidance to a range of $3.75 to $4.00 per fully diluted share from its previously provided earnings guidance range of $3.50 to $3.85 per fully diluted share.

First Quarter 2011 Conference Call

The Company has scheduled a conference call today at 8:00 a.m. ET. During the conference call, David Kirchhoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and Ann Sardini, Chief Financial Officer of the Company, will discuss first quarter 2011 results and answer questions from the investment community. Live audio of the conference call will be simultaneously webcast over the Internet on the Company's corporate website, www.weightwatchersinternational.com. A replay of the webcast will be available on this site for approximately 90 days.

Statement regarding Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The following provides information regarding non-GAAP financial measures used in this earnings release:

To supplement the Company's consolidated statements of income presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP), the Company has presented certain of its financial results on a constant currency basis in addition to GAAP results. Constant currency information compares results between periods as if exchange rates had remained constant period-over-period. In this release and any attachments, the Company calculates constant currency by calculating current-year results using prior-year foreign currency exchange rates.

Management believes this non-GAAP financial measure provides useful supplemental information for its and investors' evaluation of the Company's business performance and is useful for period-over-period comparisons of the performance of the Company's business. While management believes that this financial measure is useful in evaluating the Company's business, this information should be considered as supplemental in nature and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the related financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. In addition, this non-GAAP financial measure may not be the same as similarly entitled measures reported by other companies. See "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" attached to this release for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable GAAP measure.

About Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds over 45,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. WeightWatchers.com provides innovative, subscription weight management products over the Internet and is the leading Internet-based weight management provider in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control.

This news release and any attachments include "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, in particular, earnings guidance and any statements about the Company's plans, strategies and prospects. The Company generally uses the words "may," "will," "could," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "plan," "intend" and similar expressions in this news release and any attachments to identify forward-looking statements. The Company bases these forward-looking statements on its current views with respect to future events and financial performance. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, among other things: competition from other weight management industry participants or the development of more effective or more favorably perceived weight management methods; the Company's ability to continue to develop innovative new services and products and enhance its existing services and products, or the failure of its services and products to continue to appeal to the market; the effectiveness of the Company's marketing and advertising programs; the impact on the Weight Watchers brand of actions taken by the Company's franchisees and licensees; risks and uncertainties associated with the Company's international operations, including economic, political and social risks and foreign currency risks; the Company's ability to successfully make acquisitions or enter into joint ventures, including its ability to successfully integrate, operate or realize the projected benefits of such businesses; uncertainties related to a downturn in general economic conditions or consumer confidence; the seasonal nature of the Company's business; the impact of events that discourage people from gathering with others; the Company's ability to enforce its intellectual property rights both domestically and internationally, as well as the impact of its involvement in any claims related to intellectual property rights; uncertainties regarding the satisfactory operation of the Company's information technology or systems; the impact of security breaches and privacy concerns; the impact of disputes with the Company's franchise operators; the impact of existing and future laws and regulations; the impact of the Company's debt service obligations and restrictive debt covenants; the possibility that the interests of the Company's majority owner will conflict with the other holders of the Company's common stock; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. You should understand that many important factors, including those discussed herein, could cause the Company's results to differ materially from those expressed or suggested in any forward-looking statement. Except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect new information or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this news release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or otherwise. Readers are advised to review the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (which are available from the SEC's EDGAR database at www.sec.gov, at various SEC reference facilities in the United States and via the Company's website at www.weightwatchersinternational.com).

    Contact Information:

    Weight Watchers
     International, Inc.     Brainerd Communicators, Inc.
    Sarika Sahni             Corey Kinger
    Investor Relations       (212) 986-6667
    (212) 589-2751

                            (IN MILLIONS)

                                                 April 2       January
                                                     ,            1,
                                                     2011         2011
                                                     ----         ----

    Current assets                                 $224.9       $190.4
    Property and equipment, net                      29.6         30.9
    Goodwill, franchise rights and other
     intangible assets, net                         849.6        847.3
    Deferred financing costs, other                  21.9         23.4
         TOTAL ASSETS                            $1,126.0     $1,092.0
                                                 ========     ========

    Current liabilities                            $570.3       $539.1
    Long-term debt                                1,102.0      1,167.6
    Deferred income taxes                            76.8         62.8
    Other                                            13.5         13.3
         TOTAL LIABILITIES                       $1,762.6     $1,782.8
                                                 --------     --------

    Shareholders' deficit                          (640.2)      (694.8)
    Noncontrolling interest                           3.6          4.0
         TOTAL DEFICIT                             (636.6)      (690.8)
                                                   ------       ------

         TOTAL LIABILITIES AND TOTAL DEFICIT     $1,126.0     $1,092.0
                                                 ========     ========


                                             Three Months Ended
                                         April 2,         April 3,
                                           2011             2010
                                        ---------        ---------

    Revenues, net                           $503.4           $388.0
    Cost of revenues                         220.3            176.3
                                             -----            -----
      Gross profit                           283.1            211.7
    Marketing expenses                        95.7             74.5
    Selling, general and
     administrative expenses                  51.7             45.8
                                              ----             ----
      Operating income                       135.7             91.4
    Interest expense                          18.2             18.7
    Other expense (income), net               (0.5)             0.6
                                              ----              ---
      Income before income taxes             118.0             72.1
    Provision for income taxes                44.9             28.0
                                              ----             ----
      Net income                              73.2             44.1
    Net income attributable to the
     noncontrolling interest                   0.4              0.5
                                               ---              ---
      Net income attributable to WWI         $73.6            $44.6
                                             =====            =====

    Earnings Per Share attributable
     to WWI:
      Basic                                  $1.01            $0.58
                                             =====            =====
      Diluted                                $1.00            $0.58
                                             =====            =====

    Weighted average common shares
      Basic                                   72.9             77.1
                                              ====             ====
      Diluted                                 73.7             77.2
                                              ====             ====


    Note: Totals may not sum due to rounding.


                                         Three Months Ended
                                     April 2,       April 3,
                                       2011           2010
                                    ---------      ---------

    Total Revenues (in $ millions)
    Meeting Fees                        268.9          218.2
    In-Meeting Product Sales            101.0           80.0
    Internet Revenues                    92.0           55.3
    All Other                            41.5           34.5
    Total Revenues                      503.4          388.0

    North America (in $ millions)
    Meeting Fees                        188.1          142.4
    In-Meeting Product Sales             58.6           40.1
    Total                               246.7          182.5

    International (in $ millions)
    Meeting Fees                         80.8           75.8
    In-Meeting Product Sales             42.4           39.9
    Total                               123.2          115.7

    Paid Weeks (in millions)  (1)
    North America Meeting Paid
     Weeks                               18.4           13.9
    UK Meeting Paid Weeks                 5.1            4.1
    CE Meeting Paid Weeks                 3.4            3.9
    Other Meeting Paid Weeks              1.0            0.8
    Sub-total Meeting Paid Weeks         27.8           22.7
    Online Paid Weeks                    20.7           12.0
                                         ----           ----
    Total Paid Weeks                     48.5           34.7

    Attendance (in millions)
    North America                        11.1            8.4
    UK                                    3.6            2.9
    CE                                    2.2            2.8
    Other                                 0.7            0.6
                                          ---            ---
    Total Attendance                     17.6           14.7

    WeightWatchers.com (in
    End of Period Active Online
     Subscribers                        1,813            972


    Note: Totals may not sum due to rounding.

    (1) The Paid Week metric reports total paid weeks by Weight Watchers
           customers in Company-owned operations for a given period.  For
           Paid Weeks is the sum of total paid commitment plan weeks and total
           you-go weeks for a given period.  For Online, Paid Weeks is the
           total paid
           Weight Watchers Online subscriber weeks for a given period.


                                                Q1 2011
                               GAAP    Adjustment       Constant Currency
                               ----    ----------       -----------------
    Selected Financial Data
    Consolidated Company
     Revenues                  $503.4        $(5.1)                 $498.3
    Consolidated Meeting Fees  $268.9        $(2.8)                 $266.1
    Consolidated In-Meeting
     Product Sales             $101.0        $(0.9)                 $100.1
    Consolidated Meeting
     Business Revenues         $418.5        $(4.3)                 $414.2

      Meeting Fees             $188.1        $(0.7)                 $187.4
      Meeting Revenues         $246.7        $(0.9)                 $245.9
      Total Revenues           $262.4        $(0.9)                 $261.5

      Meeting Fees              $80.8        $(2.1)                  $78.7
      Meeting Revenues         $123.2        $(2.9)                 $120.3
      Total Revenues           $137.6        $(3.4)                 $134.3

      Meeting Fees              $31.1        $(1.0)                  $30.1
      In-Meeting Product Sales  $18.7        $(0.4)                  $18.2
      Meeting Revenues          $49.8        $(1.4)                  $48.4
      Total Revenues            $55.5        $(1.6)                  $53.9

      Meeting Revenues          $54.9         $0.3                   $55.2
      Total Revenues            $61.2         $0.3                   $61.5

    Internet Revenues           $92.0        $(0.8)                  $91.2

    Other Revenues              $41.5        $(0.6)                  $41.0

    Marketing Expenses          $95.7        $(0.6)                  $95.1

    Selling, General and
     Administrative Expenses    $51.7        $(0.7)                  $51.1

    Operating Income           $135.7        $(1.4)                 $134.3
    Operating Income Margin      27.0%                                27.0%

    Net Income                  $73.6        $(0.9)                  $72.7

                               Q1 2010             Q1 2011 Variance
                               -------             ----------------
                                             2011     2011 Constant Currency
                                 GAAP    vs 2010              vs 2010
                                 ----    -------              -------
    Selected Financial Data
    Consolidated Company
     Revenues                    $388.0      29.8%                       28.4%
    Consolidated Meeting Fees    $218.2      23.2%                       21.9%
    Consolidated In-Meeting
     Product Sales                $80.0      26.3%                       25.2%
    Consolidated Meeting
     Business Revenues           $337.4      24.1%                       22.8%

      Meeting Fees               $142.4      32.1%                       31.6%
      Meeting Revenues           $182.5      35.2%                       34.7%
      Total Revenues             $194.9      34.6%                       34.2%

      Meeting Fees                $75.8       6.6%                        3.8%
      Meeting Revenues           $115.7       6.5%                        4.0%
      Total Revenues             $130.1       5.8%                        3.2%

      Meeting Fees                $23.4      32.8%                       28.6%
      In-Meeting Product Sales    $13.7      35.9%                       32.7%
      Meeting Revenues            $37.2      34.0%                       30.1%
      Total Revenues              $41.9      32.4%                       28.5%

      Meeting Revenues            $65.8     -16.6%                      -16.1%
      Total Revenues              $73.2     -16.4%                      -16.0%

    Internet Revenues             $55.3      66.4%                       64.9%

    Other Revenues                $34.5      20.2%                       18.6%

    Marketing Expenses            $74.5      28.5%                       27.7%

    Selling, General and
     Administrative Expenses      $45.8      13.0%                       11.5%

    Operating Income              $91.4      48.5%                       46.9%
    Operating Income Margin        23.6%

    Net Income                    $44.6      65.1%                       63.2%

     Note: Totals may not sum due to rounding.

SOURCE Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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