Newell Rubbermaid reported strong fourth-quarter and full-year results, to the tune of a double-digit year-over-year improvement in its bottom line.
Net sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 were $1.49 billion, up 2.9% in year-ago terms. For the full year, sales came in at $5.69 billion, a 2.0% increase over 2012.
The company realized significantly better progress in terms of its net income. Income for the fourth quarter was $117.3 million, up 15.1% year-over-year. For the 12-month period, income was $474.6 million, up 18.3% from 2012's $401.3 million.
"We achieved a strong set of fourth-quarter 2013 results, including the best quarterly core sales growth rate in years," said president and CEO Michael Polk. "Our core sales grew 4.4% with broad-based increases across all four regions and four of our five operating segments: Baby & Parenting, Commercial Products, Tools and Writing. Our strong top-line growth was driven by innovation, new distribution and increased advertising that was fueled by overhead reductions related to Project Renewal. The top-line growth, combined with solid operating margins, drove normalized EPS growth of more than 9% to $0.47."
Polk also cited Newell Rubbermaid's transition from a holding company of nine individual business units to an operating company with five business segments.
"This new operating model has realigned resources from structural overhead to investment in our brands and key capabilities: marketing and insight, design, customer development and our new global supply chain," he said.