Profits at Chesterfield-based Edgewell Personal Care remained flat in its most recent quarter, at $65.1 million, while sales dipped less than 1 percent when compared to the prior-year quarter to $608 million.
Edgewell Chairman, President and CEO David Hatfield said the company is operating in "a very challenging environment, with declining categories and intense competitive pressure."
Edgewell, which makes Schick razors, Banana Boat sun tan lotion and Playtex feminine care products, among other personal care products, was hit especially hard by a declining North American market. And the company actually saw sales growth in international markets.
Earlier this year, Hatfield said the company began zero-based spending cost efforts and would "address all aspects of our business and the cost structure in order to drive additional cost savings and a greater efficiency, and to ensure we have the skills and capabilities needed to compete in a rapidly changing world."
On Thursday, he announced an expanded company-wide cost-saving initiative called Project Fuel, which will address all aspects of the company's business and cost structure.
The initiative is expected to save Edgewell $225 million through the 2021 fiscal year.
"It is designed to simplify the organization and streamline ways of working in order to increase competitiveness, speed and agility, and ensure the company has the skills, capabilities and investments needed to compete in a rapidly changing world," the company said in its earnings release.
Edgewell has struggled since it spun out its battery unit, Energizer, into a separate independent business in July 2015. Since then, Edgewell's stock has slipped from around $96 a share to $42 a share prior to market open Thursday.
Edgewell's CEO is among the top paid in St. Louis
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