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Battery Sales Off, Profits Up For Spectrum

Atlanta — Spectrum Brands, marketers of Rayovac batteries, reported sales for battery and lighting products were down in North America for the fiscal second quarter, ended April 2, but profits rose.

Net sales in North America were $315.8 million during the quarter, compared with $280.6 million reported last year, but Spectrum said that when 2005 results are adjusted to include all acquisitions and divestitures for the full year, net sales show a year-over-year decline of 3 percent. Those sales include batteries and lighting, as well as personal-care products and lawn and garden items.

North American segment profits were $39.4 million for the quarter vs. $33.7 million for the year-ago quarter.

Battery and lighting sales declined 20 percent as recovery of the alkaline-battery sales under the company’s new “Performance Guaranteed” marketing program was slower than anticipated, Spectrum said. Retail inventory reductions on the part of several large customers negatively impacted sales, the company said.