St. Louis — Strong sales of lithium batteries, rechargeables and chargers propelled Energizer Holdings’ North American battery business to a net profit growth of 31 percent in the second quarter to $67.4 million.
Net sales were up 22 percent to $266.5 million, due to higher volume which contributed $34.5 million, and general price increases set in January to counter what CEO Ward Klein called “unprecedented material cost increases,” adding $13.4 million.
Sales of lithium batteries grew more than 30 percent while rechargeables and chargers experienced a 15 percent growth rate over the previous year’s Q2.
Gross profit for the quarter increased $18 million as the contribution of higher sales was partially offset by higher product costs. Overall product cost rate for the quarter was an unfavorable $10.9 million, including higher material cost of $12.2 million, partially offset by other cost savings. Segment profit increased $16.0 million as higher gross profit was partially offset by higher selling, general and administrative expenses.
For the previous six months, sales increased $68.3 million, or 11 percent.
Gross profit increased $22.8 million for the six months as higher sales were partially offset by higher product costs, primarily due to the increased cost of zinc, Energizer said.