Baby business healthiest at Newell-Rubbermaid

Driven by strength in its baby and parenting and tools business units, Newell-Rubbermaid grew second quarter sales 3.5% to $1.47 billion, but profits fell slightly to $109.8 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with $111.8 million, or 38 cents a share, the prior year.

Earnings per share surged to 50 cents a share if restructuring and restructuring related costs and discontinued operations are removed from the profit picture.

Company president and CEO, Michael Polk, said Newell Rubbermaid is well positioned to accelerate core growth in the back half of the year fueled by new item launches in each of its product segments supported by brand investment. Polk said the company was confident in its forecasts for sales growth, margins and cash flow and based on the year-to-date profit performance elevated the low end of its earnings forecast range by two cents to $1.80 to $1.84.

In the second quarter, the baby and parent segment performed the best, growing sales 7.6% to $196.2 million, followed by the commercial segment where sales grew 7.1% to $203.6 million.

Sales in writing segment increased 4.1% to $477.8 million and sales in the home solutions segment increased 2% to $399.1 million. Tools was the only product segment to post a decline, dropping 2.2% to $198 million.