Gillette Reports Third-Quarter 2003 Results

November 11, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Gillette Co. (Boston, MA) reported record earnings per share for the third quarter and nine months, driven by the strength of core franchises, several new product successes, ongoing cost-saving initiatives and manufacturing efficiencies. Net sales, profit from operations and net income all scored double-digit percentage gains.

Duracell sales of $514 million for the quarter rose 7%, while profit of $106 million grew 35%. Tempering the quarter's sales growth were the effects of Duracell's exit from its zinc-carbon battery businesses in South Africa and India, and the impact of lower prices in North America from Duracell's price-deal realignment initiative. The higher sales were due importantly to a surge in battery demand in the US, as consumers stocked in response to electrical power interruptions, and to a lesser extent to the integration of the newly acquired Nanfu battery business in China. Duracell's solid top-line results in the third quarter, together with purchasing savings and manufacturing efficiencies, contributed to strong profit growth and improved margin in the quarter. For the nine months, sales of $1.33 billion climbed 7%, and profit of $199 million increased 62%.