Jan. 29 --Declining sales pushed Energizer Holding's first quarter profit down 17 percent, and the company is expanding the scope of its restructuring. Town and Country-based Energizer's profit fell to $107.9 million for the first quarter that ended Dec. 31 , or $1.71 a share, down from a $129.8 million profit, or $2.07 a share, a year ago. Sales in its personal care division, which includes Schick razors and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, fell to $550.2 million in the first quarter, down 0.7 percent from a year earlier. In its household products division, which includes batteries and lighting products, sales in the first quarter fell to $563.7 million , down 11.7 percent from a year ago. "First quarter adjusted net earnings per diluted share were in-line with expectations as lower spending and accretion from the recently acquired feminine care brands helped offset organic top-line softness," CEO Ward Klein said in a statement, referring to Stayfree pad, Carefree liner and o.b. tampon brands in the U.S. it acquired from Johnson & Johnson in October for $185 million . "However, we were disappointed by the sluggish top-line performance within our personal care division," Klein continued. "We believe heightened promotional activity over the past year has adversely impacted first quarter consumer demand and overall category volumes. In addition, our results were negatively impacted by unfavorable global currencies, and pricing controls and import restrictions in certain Latin American countries." Energizer also said Wednesday that it plans to expand the scope of its previously announced restructuring, which included cutting nearly 1,500 jobs from its global workforce. Energizer said savings from the ongoing restrutcuring will total $300 million , instead of the $225 million in previously announced. ___ (c)2014 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Visit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at www.stltoday.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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