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Energizer to cut more than 10 percent of workforce

11/08/2012 | 06:22pm US/Eastern
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(Reuters) - Energizer Holdings Inc (>> Energizer Holdings, Inc.) said on Thursday that it would cut more than 10 percent of its workforce, or about 1,500 people, as it tries to rev up results in its battery business.

(Reuters) - Energizer Holdings Inc (>> Energizer Holdings, Inc.) said on Thursday that it would cut more than 10 percent of its workforce, or about 1,500 people, as it tries to rev up results in its battery business.

Energizer has been reviewing everything from procurement to manufacturing and selling, general and administrative costs. This year it faced pressures including losing shelf space for batteries at Walmart and stepped up competition with is Schick and Wilkinson Sword razors from larger rival Procter & Gamble Co's (>> The Procter & Gamble Company) Gillette razors.

The company said it wants to streamline its lineup of household products to allow it to focus on the core battery business.

Plans include closing or streamlining battery factories and packaging facilities in the United States, Malaysia and Canada and streamlining lights manufacturing in China.

Energizer expects pre-tax cost savings of about $200 million from the restructuring, and said the majority of its restructuring charges should be recorded within the next 12 to 18 months.

St. Louis-based Energizer is best known for its namesake batteries. Its other products include Eveready batteries, Playtex tampons, and Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen.

The restructuring, which had been in the works for months, comes after other household products makers such as P&G, Colgate-Palmolive Co (>> Colgate-Palmolive Company) and Kimberly-Clark Corp (>> Kimberly Clark Corp) announced plans to trim their ranks.

Energizer also said its profit rose to $117 million, or $1.84 per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter ended on September 30, from $45.8 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier.

Sales of household products fell due in part to hurricane-driven sales a year earlier, the loss of shelf space at Walmart and continued weakness in the battery category.

Household product sales fell 6.8 percent on a net basis, and 3.7 percent on an organic basis, which typically excludes acquisitions, divestitures and foreign exchange.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; editing by Andrew Hay)

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