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Gillette Reports 6 Percent Earnings Growth In 1989

February 15, 1990

BOSTON (AP) _ Gillette Co. said Thursday its 1989 earnings grew 6 percent compared with the year before, while fourth-quarter earnings climbed 29 percent for the world’s leading razor-blade maker.

In the quarter ended Dec. 31, Gillette had earnings of $79.4 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with $61.5 million, or 63 cents a share, in the same quarter of 1988.

Revenue for the quarter totaled $1.05 billion, marking the first time the company surpassed $1 billion in sales in any quarter. Revenue for 1988′s fourth quarter was $968 million.

For all of 1989, Gillette reported net income of $284.7 million, or $2.70 a share, on sales of $3.8 billion, compared with earnings of $268.5 million, or $2.45 a share, on sales of $3.58 billion in 1988.

The company said sales in its North Atlantic division, which covers North America and Europe, were ″moderately higher″ for 1989, while the operating profit was virtually unchanged.

Dave Fausch, a Gillette spokesman, said the profit for this division was hurt by the performance of the company’s toiletry products. In December, the company realigned its toiletry operations, merging them with the shaving division. Gillette also has sold some personal care product lines in Europe.

Fausch said Gillette is encouraged about 1990, as the company promotes its new Sensor razor, which was introduced last month with much fanfare. The high- tech razor, priced higher than previous models, is designed to offer a closer shave.

The Sensor is part of Gillette’s strategy to persuade customers to switch from disposable brands to higher-priced razors with replaceable blades.

Fausch said ″the trend lines are going well″ in this initiative.

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