By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Share softness in the battery business hurt overall financial results in the second quarter at Gillette.
Although Gillette said it had made considerable progress in a trade destocking effort to lower battery inventories, the initiative had a sharply negative impact on the company's overall second-quarter performance. Yet, this program has set the stage for progress this year and beyond, Gillette said.
Sales of Gillette's Duracell brand batteries dropped 11 percent to $519 million in the three months ended June 30, while profit slid 59 percent to $40 million.
For the six months, battery sales fell 12 percent to $916 million, while profits were off 55 percent at $78 million.
Gillette said battery sales were curbed due to the reductions in trade inventory levels and some share decline. The revenue drop also reflected a change in mix, because the proportion of CopperTop battery sales increased vs. those of the premium Duracell Ultra.
The new CopperTop battery, which features enhanced technology and replaces the former Copper & Black design, was introduced in the United States in June. This is being backed by a heavy advertising campaign.
Strong unit gains by CopperTop batteries in June enabled the brand to reach its highest unit share level since October of 1999, according to Gillette.
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