Spectrum Brands, the publicly traded American parent company of Spectrum Brands Australia, owner of the Russell Hobbs, George Foreman, Black & Decker and Remington brands, among others, has announced a strong profit turnaround for the first quarter of its 2014 financial year.
Net income for this period was $54.3 million from sales of $1.1 billion. This is a major uptick from the previous corresponding quarter, in which Spectrum Brands recorded a loss of $13.4 million.
CEO Dave Lumley said the Madison, Wisconsin-based company would continue to explore volume-based growth in its maintenance and replacement appliance markets.
“With our largely non-discretionary, non premium-priced replacement products, we will continue to pursue volume growth, new retailers, retail distribution gains, new products, cross-selling opportunities, geographic expansion, and select pricing actions while maintaining strict spending controls and achieving investment paybacks from our expanding global cost improvement initiatives,” he said.
Lumley made special mention of online sales growth in his trading update, saying that Spectrum was committed to working with its retail partners to provide a seamless and positive experience for consumers who wished to purchase appliances over the internet.
“Given consumers’ growing preference for online shopping, we also are increasing our investment and resources to partner with our retail customers’ ecommerce platforms to help them increase their overall sales,” he said.
The global appliances and batteries division of Spectrum Brands had lower sales than the previous corresponding quarter — $659.3 million vs $666 million — though a surge in Remington personal care appliance sales made up for declines in the small appliance businesses.
Declines in appliances sales were attributed to “competitor discounting at a major retailer”, according to the trading update.
In Australia, Spectrum Brands has been pursuing an aggressive small appliance and floorcare product roll-out, with attractive Mother’s Day offerings under its Russell Hobbs and George Foreman brands, and a new range of robot vacuums under the Russell Hobbs R-Vac banner.