Cost cuts help Energizer exceed profit estimates

Wed May 1, 2013 8:41am EDT

(Reuters) - Energizer Holdings Inc (ENR.N), maker of Energizer batteries and Schick razor blades, reported a much better-than-expected quarterly profit, boosted by lower commodity costs and the company's efforts to rein in expenses.

The St. Louis, Missouri based company had laid out plans to cut more than 10 percent of its workforce late last year. On Wednesday, it said its second-quarter net earnings rose to $84.9 million, or $1.35 a share, from $77.9 million, or $1.17 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring costs, a charge related to devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar and other items, it earned $1.80 a share, while analysts expected $1.27 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

While sales fell marginally to $1.1 billion, the company managed to cut its selling, general and administrative expenses by 9.6 percent to $209.9 million.

Energizer raised its savings estimate for the current fiscal year to $50 million to $60 million from its prior outlook of $25 million to $35 million, citing the significant progress of its restructuring efforts.

Still, it did not raise its profit outlook calling for adjusted earnings of $6.75 to $7 per share in the year as it expects the additional savings to only offset sales softness.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in New York; Additional reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore and Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Grant McCool)

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