P&G divests Duracell brand

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has announced that its Duracell battery business will be split off as a separate brand as the company zooms in on its faster growing brands.

This comes as part of a massive streamlining exercise which P&G first announced in August this year. P&G had then said that the company will sell, discontinue, merge or eliminate up to 100 brands in the next two years as part of a cost-cutting exercise – focusing on its top 70 to 80 brands. These 70 to 80 brands that will remain have accounted for 90% of the company’s sales and more than 95% of its profit in the past three years as a smaller and less complicated company will be easier to operate.

Meanwhile according to an article on WSJ, the unit leads the battery market with US$2.2 billion in annual sales. P&G also said that its sales over the past three months has risen by 2% and grew in health care and baby, feminine and family care divisions. The company first acquired Duracell in 2005 as part of its US$57 billion purchase of Gillette. According to a BBC article, this was one of the largest acquisitions done by the company and currently the brand leads the battery segment.

Earlier last week, the company made public several leadership changes. The head of its North American business, Melanie Healey will retire next June, as the company puts together a new leadership team in an effort to revive weak sales growth. Other senior executives exiting include Filippo Passerini, chief information officer and head of global services; Jorge Uribe, global productivity officer; and Joanne Crewes, head of global prestige.  Also leaving is P&G’s top salon professional executive Adil Mehboob-Khan, who has been tapped as eyewear-maker Luxottica’s new co-CEO.

The year has seen other major corporations also making major trims to their operations. Just recently, Hewlett-Packard announced that it will be splitting its computer and printing businesses, and data services into two separate entities. eBay also split from its mobile payment service PayPal and turned it into a separate company. Meanwhile, Dutch brand Royal Philips also announced that it would be tearing its lighting business from its healthcare and consumer divisions.