Driven by a 28 percent increase in sales, Lexington-based mattress maker Tempur-Pedic International announced Thursday that its first-quarter earnings rose almost 50 percent compared with a year earlier.
"We're very pleased with the first-quarter results," Chief Executive Mark Sarvary told analysts in a morning conference call. He noted that the company continues to expand its market share worldwide.
He linked the improved performance to a 60 percent increase in advertising.
"While it's still early, all these marketing campaigns are showing positive results," he said, noting the company's Web site traffic has risen considerably in target markets including the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Behind the growth was the company's North American operations. Sales increased here 37 percent, while international sales rose 11 percent. Sales of mattresses jumped 29 percent globally. Mattress-sales growth was stronger in North America, where it increased 36 percent compared with a 12 percent jump internationally. Adjusting for currency fluctuations, international sales of mattresses grew 10 percent.
Sales of pillows increased 13 percent globally with a 24 percent jump in North America and 3 percent internationally, according to a company statement. Adjusting for currency, pillow sales were flat.
The company earned $48.3 million in the quarter, well above $33.1 million a year ago. Earnings per share were 68 cents in the quarter, up from 44 cents a year ago.
The company also announced Thursday that it repurchased 1.32 million shares of its stock at an average price of $47.35 in the quarter. It ended the quarter with around 70.9 million shares outstanding.