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Newell Rubbermaid Management Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: NWL

On the cost side, our efforts to unlock the Kraft capacity for growth are also progressing well. Project Renewal is up and running. We've reset my top team. Our new group in GBU architecture was announced in November and the North American restructuring is well underway. We're strengthening the U.S. selling organization and our consumer-facing businesses, deploying integrated cross-functional customer and channel teams in the U.S. And we've announced that we will close our Rubbermaid Consumer factory in Greenville, Texas and consolidate production in our Winfield, Kansas and Mogadore, Ohio factories. There've been many people impacted by these decisions, and I'd once again like to thank all of our employees for how professionally they're leading through change.

On the other side of the Atlantic, we're moving rapidly toward the April 2012 SAP and European principal company cutover. I spent time with the transition team 2 weeks ago in the U.K. outside of Newcastle and Sunderland. They've made a tremendous amount of progress. And while we have a lot of work still to do, the team is focused and energized by the challenge. This is, by far, the most comprehensive systems project we've implemented. And while we have the finish line in sight, we need to cross over a series of testing hurdles before we throw the go-live switch. So far, so good, but lots to do. Importantly, despite a tougher year than planned, we have the changed agenda, associated with the SAP and EPC, EMEA, delivered slightly better than 10% operating margin in 2011, about a year ahead of our targeted delivery date and 800 basis points above the 2009 baseline.

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