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Gillette Profit Rises 12.6 Percent

April 16, 1998

BOSTON (AP) _ Gillette Co.’s profit rose 12.6 percent in the first three months as strong results from its Duracell battery business offset weaker profits in its razor unit.

Gillette said it has slowed resupplying razors and blades to retailers as it tried to work down inventories ahead of the introduction of its new high-priced Mach3 triple-bladed razor.

Gillette had a profit of $268 million, or 47 cents per share on a diluted basis. A year earlier, profits were $236 million, or 41 cents per share. Sales were up 1.3 percent at $2.025 billion from $1.999 billion.

The company said Braun Products and Oral-B profits were up sharply, while sales rose only moderately.

Gillette also increased its dividend by 19 percent to $1.02 per year.

The company’s stock fell $1.81 1/4 to $115.93 3/4 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange after reaching its low of the day at $112.50 just as its results were being released.

The new Mach3 razor and two cartridges go on sale in July and will sell for up to $6.99. A package of four replacement cartridges will cost about $6.79, about 35 percent more than the costs of its most popular blades.

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