MADISON, Wis.–Spectrum Brands cut down on its first-quarter net loss from $60.2 million in its last fiscal year to $19.8 million this year, helped by the addition of the Russell Hobbs housewares brands and by a strong performance from its personal-care products.
The company’s net sales jumped by 45.5 percent to $861.1 million, a new record for quarterly sales for Spectrum. The merger with Russell Hobbs (formerly Salton Inc.), which was finalized last June 16, brought the George Foreman, Littermaid, Farberware and Toastmaster brands, among others, into the Spectrum fold. In addition, global net sales in personal-care products, among them the Remington brand of shavers, increased by 10.3 percent in the quarter.
The gain in sales also provided a boost to Spectrum’s first-quarter gross margin, which gained 358 basis points to finish at 34.8 percent. While selling, general and administrative expenses on a dollar basis rose 32 percent in the quarter, they also fell by 235 basis points as a percentage of net sales to 23.3 percent.
Commenting on the “solid start” to the company’s fiscal year 2011, David Lumley, Spectrum’s chief executive officer, said the company’s first-quarter results “speak to the continuing success we are having with our Spectrum Value Model of enhancing retailer margins, introducing new products and product-line extensions, and aggressive, long-term cost improvement.”