Newell Rubbermaid Q1 earnings up 23%

With its international business leading the way, Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid announced first quarter sales of $1.303 billion, down slightly from $1.306 billion in the same quarter last year.

Net income for the quarter was $75.7 million, up 23.4% from $58.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

With these numbers, Mark Ketchum, president and CEO said the year was off to a good start. “We remain confident in our ability to meet our full year guidance of 4% to 5% core sales growth, gross margin expansion of 50 to 75 basis points and normalized EPS growth of 10% to 12%," he said. "Our international businesses led the way, building on already strong momentum, with core sales growth of almost 5%. Developing markets, where we have substantially increased our focus and investment, grew double digits in the first quarter.”

Special mention was given to Irwin's GrooveLock Pliers, which showed strong momentum, Ketchum said. At Lenox, an innovative hole saw with a slotted design for easy plug removal is expected to boost sales in the second quarter.

Other Newell Rubbermaid brands include Sharpie, Graco, Levolor and Paper Mate.