Sales were driven by year-on-year increases in Asia, Europe and Latin America, which more than made up for year-on-year declines in North American sales.
Sales in Asia hit $35.76 million, compared to $30.96 million in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 15.5%, and sales in Latin America increased 20% to reach $6.7 million. Sales in Europe grew 7.6% to $22.2 million.
The increases were due to business transformation initiatives, new product development, and the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions in certain key markets, said the company.
While North America declined 2.6% the region is still the company’s largest with $37.76 million in sales.
Terrence Moorehead, CEO of Nature’s Sunshine, commented: “[Q1] marked the third consecutive quarter of net sales over $100 million, which demonstrates the strength of our global strategy and our ability to effectively drive transformation.
“Growth was especially strong in our Asian and Latin America markets, and we saw solid performance in Europe with continued progress in North America despite a tough comparable due to the stockpiling we saw at the start of the pandemic last March.”
Moorehead added that the company, which is the world’s 33rd largest MLM, according to industry publication Direct Selling News, experienced strong customer growth across all markets.
“The global response to our new branding has been tremendous with early feedback reinforcing our initial findings that it not only energizes existing customers, but it’s also more attractive to new customers,” he said. “What’s more, our ‘Subscribe and Thrive’ auto-ship program continues to gain traction among new and existing customers, now accounting for over a quarter of our sales in the U.S.
“For 2021, we are optimistic our momentum will continue as we launch the next phase of our customer-driven strategy. As the market remains dynamic, I reaffirm my confidence in the strong operational and financial foundation that our team has built.”
Adjusted EBITDA* in the first quarter of 2021 increased 20% to $11.6 million in the first quarter compared to $9.7 million in the year-ago quarter. This increase was driven primarily by the aforementioned increase in net sales.
* Nature’s Sunshine defines adjusted EBITDA as net income from continuing operations before taxes, depreciation, amortization and other income/loss adjusted to exclude share-based compensation expense and certain noted adjustments.