Appliances, Housewares Drive Newell’s Q4 Sales Growth

Newell Brands reported fourth-quarter sales growth from most of its core operating segments that include home and housewares brands.

Newell’s Appliances & Cookware (including Crock-Pot, Mr.. Coffee, Oster and Sunbeam appliances; and Calphalon cookware) generated net sales of $577 million compared with $570 million in the prior-year period. The gain was driven by core sales growth of 4.2% and partially offset by the impact of unfavorable foreign exchange, according to the company.

The Appliance & Cookware group reported operating income in the quarter was $49 million (8.5% of sales), compared to $58 million (10.2% of sales) in year-earlier period.

The Home Solutions segment at Newell, including the Food (Rubbermaid, FoodSaver and Ball food storage) and Home Fragrance units, generated net sales in the quarter of $695 million versus $648 million in the year-earlier period. Results reflected core sales growth of 12.4% and the impact of favorable foreign exchange, partially offset by the closure of 77 underperforming Yankee Candle retail locations during the year. The Food and Home Fragrance units delivered core sales growth.

Operating income by the Home Solutions group was $138 million (19.9 of sales) compared with $96 million (14.8% of sales) in the prior year period

In announcing its quarterly results, Newell also announced it has realigned management of its Cookware business, with the business unit CEO of Food, Kris Malkoski, assuming full responsibility for Cookware. As a result of this change, effective for the first quarter 2021, the company will report the financial and operating information for Cookware as part of its Food business unit within the Home Solutions segment.

Previously, Cookware was included in Newell’s Appliances & Cookware segment. With this change in the organizational structure, the Appliances & Cookware segment will be renamed Home Appliances. The company will continue to report its five existing reportable segments.

Newell’s Commercial Solutions segment (including Rubbermaid and Quickie cleaning products) generated net sales of $498 million compared with $436 million in the prior- year period. This was fueled by core sales growth of 13.8% and the impact of favorable foreign exchange, Newell reported.

Newell’s Outdoor & Recreation segment (including Contigo and Bubba beverageware; and Coleman products) reported net sales of $249 million versus $268 million in the year-earlier period, largely reflecting a core sales decline of 7.4%

Overall, Newell Brands reported corporate net sales were $2.7 billion during its fourth quarter, an increase of 2.5% increases compared with the prior-year period. Core sales grew 4.9% year-over-year.

Newell reported operating margin in the quarter was 9.2% versus with 5% for the prior year period

Newell’s corporate net sales for the full year ended December 31, 2020, were $9.4 billion, a decline of 3.4% compared with $9.7 billion in the prior year. This reflects core sales decline of 1.1%, as well as the impact of unfavorable foreign exchange and business and retail store exit, according to the company.

The company reported an operating loss for the year of $634 million compared with $482 million in the prior year

“We gained considerable momentum on our turnaround in 2020 and laid a solid foundation to deliver sustainable, profitable growth in the future,” said Ravi Saligram, Newell Brands President and CEO. “We are proud of our accomplishments in 2020, returning to meaningful core sales growth and operating margin improvement in the back half of the year, delivering stellar cash flow, significantly reducing complexity, improving productivity, accelerating eCommerce growth, and improving customer relationships.

“The strength and resilience of our portfolio shone through as growth in Food, Commercial and Appliances & Cookware business units offset Writing softness caused by the stay at home pandemic related phenomenon,” Saligram added.