Energizer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ENR) is engaged in the manufacture of primary batteries, flashlights, and men's and women's wet-shave products. The company derives more than 50% of its revenue from outside the United States with its two main brands, Energizer and Eveready, marketed and sold in more than 165 countries and with operations in 23 manufacturing and packaging facilities on five continents. One of the primary concerns facing Energizer is the cost of raw materials. Zinc, a key component in its batteries, has more than doubled in price since 2005.
The acquisition of Playtex in 2008, a top player in the feminine hygiene industry that holds number top two spot in every industry in which it competes, represents diversification into a new line of business. Playtex could benefit from Energizer's broader distribution (165 countries vs. Playtex's 15). The combined enterprise could also benefit from greater leverage with retailers.
In June 2009, Energizer acquired Edge and Skintimate shave preparation brands from S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. for $275 million. In North America, Edge is a leader in men’s shave preparation and Skintimate is the market share leader in the women’s shave preparation category.
Energizer Holdings, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of primary batteries, portable lighting and personal care products in the wet shave, skin care, feminine care and infant care categories. The Company’s brand names, Eveready and Energizer are marketed and sold in more than 165 countries. Its subsidiaries operate a number of manufacturing and packaging facilities in 14 countries on five continents.
Second Quarter 2010 Results (ended March 31, 2010)
Energizer reported net earnings for the quarter of $88.5 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, versus net earnings of $77.0 million, or $1.30 per diluted share in the second fiscal quarter of 2009. Net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 increased $54.7 million, or 6%, due primarily to the favorable impact of currencies of approximately $41 million and the inclusion of Edge and Skintimate shave preparations, which added $32 million to net sales for the quarter. These increases were partially offset by lower net sales for Venezuela of approximately $13 million due to the negative impact of the devaluation partially offset by favorable pricing actions in the local market. Gross margin as a percent of net sales was 47.8%, which was favorably impacted by 170 basis points due to currencies. This compares to 47.0% for the same quarter in the prior year.
Energizer offers all types of batteries, from carbon zinc to alkaline chemistry, and from alkaline to lithium and rechargeable chemistry. Although no longer much of a factor in the U.S. market, carbon zinc batteries continue to sell well in the emerging markets of the world where nearly 1 billion Eveready carbon zinc batteries are sold each year. At the other end of the spectrum, Energizer continues to drive trade-up with lithium battery products, which grew 12 percent in 2009 despite the sluggish economy.
Energizer offers a comprehensive line of miniature specialty batteries designed for a broad range of small electronic devices – including hearing aids, watches, calculators, toys, car alarms, handheld games, heart rate monitors, digital thermometers, specialty photo and more. In addition to specialty batteries, in the last year Energizer has expanded into specialty power needs, ranging from solar products, inverters, car charging products, gaming accessories and power extenders for cell phones, computers and digital cameras.
Energizer provides a full line of portable lighting products to fit every need and lifestyle – from the worksite to the campsite, at home or on-the-go, for everyday use or emergency preparedness. Its lighting portfolio includes battery-operated flashlights and lanterns, in addition to traditional incandescent bulbs and LED technology.
With 19 plants in 14 countries and 6 billion batteries produced in 2006, Energizer is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and marketers of batteries and flashlights. The company's Battery segment consists of household batteries (alkaline, carbon zinc, lithium and rechargeable) and specialty batteries. The company markets its batteries under the brands Energizer and Eveready. Energizer estimates its share of the total U.S. retail battery category was approximately 39% in 2008, 39% in 2007, 37% in 2006, 36% in 2005 and 34% in 2004.
Men’s and women’s wet shave
Schick ranks no. 2 globally in each segment within the wet shave market – men’s systems, women’s systems and disposable razors. Since introducing Quattro in 2003 as the world’s first four-bladed razor, Energizer's Schick has continued to expand this advanced platform with innovative line extensions – Quattro for Women (2005), Quattro titanium (2006) and Quattro Disposable in men’s and women’s versions.
Although hampered by adverse weather and the economy in 2009, Energizer's sun care product line continued to grow, driven by increased awareness of skin damage from sun exposure. With distinct brand equities, Banana Boat and Hawaiian tropic successfully appeal to different target audiences, offering form innovations like convenient continuous spray technology, which shows increased market penetration, and products offering higher levels of SpF protection. Banana Boat offers a broad array of sunscreen products designed for general protection, sport and babies/kids in sprays, lotions and sticks, plus tanning and after-sun products. newly introduced products include Banana Boat SpF 100 ultra Defense, Sport, Kids and Baby lotions for the 2010 sun care season.
Energizer's Playtex is no. 2 in the plastic applicator tampon segment, which continues to grow as consumer preference has driven an evolution from cardboard to plastic applicator tampons. Playtex Sport was designed to provide Sport level protection and comfort for active teens and young women. The fastest-growing brand in the category with a growth rate of 16 percent during the last fiscal year, Sport is available in multiple absorbencies with unscented and scented offerings.
Playtex remains the no. 1 brand in the infant/toddler feeding and diaper disposal category, with continued growth fueled by its product and marketing innovation coupled with strong U.S. birth growth rates.
Energizer is vulnerable to fluctuations in the cost of raw materials such as zinc, a key ingredient in batteries. The company uses roughly 75 million pounds of zinc a year, so a 1-cent cost increase has a negative impact of $750,000 annually. Energizer has been maintaining its margins by increasing the price. This makes the company’s products less attractive with respect to competitors in the absence of other distinguishing features, although it should be noted there is a limit to the elasticity of battery demand.
The battery category continues to be highly competitive as brands compete for consumer acceptance and retail shelf space. Overall battery consumption has been increasing for many years, but category value growth in the U.S. lagged unit sales until 2006 as consumer purchases have shifted to larger package sizes, which sell at lower per unit prices. Retail outlets experiencing the strongest battery category growth in the U.S. are those which feature larger package sizes.
With half its sales outside the United States, Energizer faces the risk of weaker foreign currencies. For example, a 10 percent weakening of the euro or yen translates into a negative impact on Energizer of approximately $10 million on an annualized basis.
Energizer acquired Playtex Products in August 2007. Playtex Products is a Personal Care Products Manufacturer and deals in Feminine Care Products and Diapers. With the acquisition, the Company is entering into different kind of business line and now competes more intensely with consumer products giants like Procter & Gamble Company (PG). Playtex claims the top or second-place spot in every category in which it competes. More than 80% of Playtex revenue is derived from the U.S. market.
Energizer has developed following strategies to gain the market share in the competitive market scenario.
1. Broad Portfolio – Offering the broadest range of portable power solutions that gives multiple opportunities to meet diverse consumer and customer needs with a strong platform to trade up consumers to more premium products.
2. Brand Support – Brands matter in the battery category, and the company aggressively supports its well-known Energizer and Eveready brands with meaningful advertising and promotional support.
3. Minimize overhead – A lean overhead structure enables the company to fund its brand building efforts, while delivering healthy operating margins and generating strong cash flow.
4. Geographic Expansion – The company continues to expand the global presence and sales of Schick-Wilkinson Sword (SWS), introducing shaving solutions in more countries and classes of trade where it currently market batteries.
5. Encourage Trade-Up – Through continuous product innovation and strong brand support, it seeks to trade up consumers to new improved products in each area where we compete – men’s and women’s wet shaving systems and disposables.
6. Innovation - Creatively focusing on innovation in products and technology, Energizer is able to compete successfully against larger rivals. Some of the examples of innovation are: world’s first four-bladed razor and first all in one razor, battery line harnessing the power of lithium in a 1.5 volt cell, an alkaline battery with patented titanium technology, advanced titanium blade-coating technology, world’s only hearing aid battery dispenser and the proprietary intelligent power management technology in new cell phone charger.
Procter & Gamble Company (PG), Energizer's main competitor is said to be considering a spin off of Duracell. The deal has yet to be completed, but a successful spin-off, depending on the terms of course, could create a better competitive environment for Energizer.
The main competitor to Energizer's Blades and Razor segment is P&G. P&G is several times the size of Energizer, affording it far greater marketing and production resources than the latter.