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Rayovac Battery Sales Climb 15%

MADISON, WIS. — Powered by double-digit growth in general battery sales, among others, Rayovac reported strong sales and earnings in its fiscal second quarter.

In North America, total sales moved up 4 percent to $106 million. The total general battery sales segment in North America was up 15 percent for the quarter, with alkaline sales up 11 percent and rechargeables 19 percent.

Companywide, general battery sales climbed 12 percent in the second quarter, led by alkaline types, with a sales increase of 14 percent. Rechargeables climbed 16 percent and heavy duty sales increased 7 percent.

The gain in general batteries overall was tempered somewhat by a $5.7 million decline in specialty battery sales during the second quarter. Specialty types were affected by a dramatic softening in the computer and mobile communications market segments.

Rayovac total sales hit $145.2 million in the second quarter ended April 1, topping by 3.6 percent the $140.1 million reached in the same period a year ago. Operating income, before special charges, increased 6.1 percent to $14 million in the second quarter, compared with $13.2 million in the year-ago three months. Net income decreased 10.8 percent to $4.1 million, compared with $3.7 million in the same quarter in 2000.

According to A.C. Nielsen data for the 12 weeks ended April 7, Rayovac’s total domestic general battery dollar volume climbed 12 percent vs. a year ago, with market share hitting 14.1 percent. In alkaline batteries, dollar volume also increased 12 percent over one year ago.

For the six months, sales hit $328.8 million, down 6.5 percent from the $351.5 million reported in the year-ago period. Operating income, before special charges, was $36.7 million for the six months, a drop of 14.1 percent from the $42.7 million recorded in the year-ago six months. Net income for the six months dropped 86.4 percent to $2.4 million.