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Duracell Battery Sales Rise 1% In Q2; Profit Jumps 20%

Boston — Sales of Duracell batteries reached $432 million in the second quarter, edging up 1 percent from the same quarter in 2002, reported parent company Gillette.

Profit for Gillette’s Duracell battery segment was even healthier, climbing 20 percent year over year, to $54 million.

During the second quarter, Duracell’s worldwide unit volume grew, with strong gains in both North America and Europe. This more than offset the effect of Duracell’s exit from its zinc-carbon battery business in South Africa and India, as well as the impact of lower prices in North America, associated with Duracell’s price-deal realignment initiative.

Duracell operating profit and margin improved in the second quarter, compared with the same three months a year earlier, driven by savings in both sourcing and manufacturing.

For the six months, Duracell sales hit $611 million, up 13 percent year-on-year, while profit of $102 million was essentially flat for the period.

Gillette consolidated sales climbed 11 percent in the second quarter, reaching $2.3 billion, compared with $2 billion in the second three months a year ago. Net income for the period rose 15 percent, to $338 million, up from $293 million in the second quarter of 2002.

For the six months, Gillette consolidated sales jumped 13 percent, hitting $4.2 billion, up from $3.8 billion in the same six months a year earlier. Six-month net income rose 16 percent, to $601 million, up from $516 million year over year.