St. Louis — Energizer battery sales in North America jumped 11 percent in the company’s fiscal third quarter, climbing to $252.7 million, up from a year-ago $228.5 million. The higher dollar volume was partially offset by unfavorable pricing and product mix.
North American battery segment profit at Energizer increased 4 percent in the three months ended June 30, coming in at $57.3 million, up from $55.3 million. The company attributed the slight rise to lower advertising and promotion expenses that were partially offset by lower gross profit, which decreased by $3 million in the quarter.
Energizer Max volume rose 14 percent, while the company said lithium and rechargeable batteries experienced growth of over 20 percent. However, overall pricing and product mix remained unfavorable due to price declines of non-Energizer-brand products and the continuing shift to larger pack sizes, which sell at lower per-unit retails.
The United States retail battery category increased 4 percent in value in the third quarter vs. the same period last year, said Energizer. Retail consumption of Energizer products increased an estimated 14 percent in value. The company estimates retail inventory levels as of June 30 were slightly above seasonally normal levels.
In the third quarter, alkaline battery sales climbed to $284.1 million from a year-earlier $271.1 million, while carbon zinc units reached sales of $60.2 million, compared with $56.4 million in the same quarter in the prior year.
Consolidated Energizer sales rose 6 percent in the third quarter, hitting $691.2 million, up from $651.9 million last year. Net earnings were $53.8 million in the three months, up from a year-on-year $38.7 million. The company also sells razors and blades.
In the nine months, North American battery sales rose 8 percent, reaching $852.6 million, compared with $785.9 million. This increase was due primarily to higher volume, partially offset by unfavorable pricing and product mix. North American segment battery profit in the three months increased to $223 million, from $209.3 million, as higher gross profit and lower advertising and promotion expenses were partially offset by higher overhead expenses.
Alkaline battery sales in the nine months rose to $985.2 million from a year-ago $927.8 million, while carbon zinc types enjoyed sales of $189.4 million in the period, compared with a year-earlier $182.8 million.
Consolidated nine-month sales at Energizer jumped 7 percent to $2.2 billion, from $2.1 billion, while net earnings rose to $233.1 million from last year’s $201.7 million.