(Corrects sales in 8th paragraph to $1.24 billion from $1.23
By Dhanya Skariachan
NEW YORK May 3 Newell Rubbermaid Inc
said on Friday it will sell its hardware and teaching aids
businesses, as the maker of Sharpie pens and Rubbermaid storage
containers tries to offload non-core assets and focus on more
The company reported a 31.7 percent drop in first-quarter
net income mainly on restructuring costs, as it joins other
consumer products makers in taking steps to improve productivity
to offset soft sales.
The businesses that will be sold include the Bulldog,
Shurline, Ashland, Amerock and Mimio brands, and the drapery
hardware unit. Together, they had sales of slightly more than
$300 million last year.
"They do not fit with our strategy," Newell Chief Executive
Mike Polk said.
Since he took the helm in July 2011, the company has cut
jobs, consolidated manufacturing and distribution facilities and
reduced the number of business units to trim costs.
Net income fell to $54.2 million, or 19 cents a share in the
three months ended March 31, from $79.3 million or 27 cents a
share a year earlier.
Excluding restructuring costs, a charge related to the
currency devaluation in Venezuela, a tax benefit and a charge
tied to discontinued operations, Newell earned 35 cents a share.
The company, which also makes Graco strollers, Calphalon
cookware and Paper Mate pens, said net sales fell 0.8 percent to
$1.24 billion. Sales were particularly weak in the writing
Newell also stood by its full-year outlook calling for
earnings of $1.78 to $1.84 a share, excluding items, and a sales
rise of 2 percent to 4 percent excluding foreign currency
(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Stephen Coates)