Boston - Driven by gains from its recently re-staged Duracell CopperTop brand, sales of batteries at Gillette inched up 1 percent in the third quarter, reaching $622 million.
However, battery profits dropped to $56 million for the three months, down 55 percent, according to parent Gillette. Duracell batteries are a core category at the giant blade, oral care and toiletries company.
Duracell's total market share increased in the United States during the third quarter, representing four consecutive months of alkaline unit and value share increases, said Gillette. This reverses 21 straight months of share declines, according to the company.
Duracell said its battery trade de-stocking initiative in the third quarter proceeded on plan, with excess inventories completely removed. Sales growth, however, was tempered by this battery trade de-stocking initiative and by economic weakness in Latin America.
Strong advertising and promotional support, combined with higher overheads, contributed to a lower operating margin for batteries in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.
For the nine months, battery sales at Gillette fell 7 percent to $1.54 billion, while profits declined 55 percent to $134 million.