Spectrum Brands, Inc., makers of Rayovac, Varta and Remington products, said first quarter net sales were U.S. $564.6 million, as compared with net sales of $566.3 million in the comparable period last year, a net loss of $0.38 per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006. Reported net sales exclude sales from the company’s Home and Garden division, which is being accounted for as discontinued operations pending completion of an ongoing sale process. Excluding certain adjustments which management believes are not indicative of the company’s on-going normalize operations, the company generated diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of $0.12.
Gross profit and gross margin for the quarter were $208.9 million and 37.0 percent, respectively, versus $224.0 million and 39.6 percent for the same period last year. Restructuring and related charges of $6.0 million were included in the current quarter’s cost of goods sold; cost of goods sold in the comparable period last year included $1.3 million in similar charges. Increased raw material costs, primarily zinc, were the most significant driver of the decline in gross margin.
The company generated operation income of $37.5 million versus $67.6 million in fiscal 2006’s first quarter. The primary reasons for the decline were increased advertising and marketing expense of approximately $14 million and higher commodity costs, including an increase of $7 million is zinc costs.
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