By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The negative impact of the Kmart bankruptcy and its effect on fiscal first-quarter earnings at battery maker Rayovac overshadowed the company's year-over-year sales increases in alkaline and rechargeable batteries.
Alkaline sales in the first quarter ended Dec. 30 increased 11 percent over the year-ago three months, while rechargeable types jumped 10 percent.
Total Rayovac sales in the first quarter were $182.4 million, about flat with the $183.6 million reported in the year-ago first quarter.
Rayovac said Kmart's filing wiped out virtually all the company's earnings in the first quarter. In fiscal 2001, sales to Kmart represented about 6.5 percent of Rayovac's consolidated worldwide revenue, the battery company said.
Operating income was $3.6 million in the first quarter, following a $16.1 million increase in bad debt reserve related to the gross receivable balance from Kmart, compared with operating income before special charges of $22.7 million in the same period in 2000.
Sales in North America climbed 4 percent, to $142.2 million in the first three months, up from $136.9 million a year ago.
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