As expected, gross margin of 36.5 percent represented a decline of 70 basis points versus prior year. Normalized gross margin decreased 50 basis points versus prior year to 36.7 percent as the company made incremental investments in customer programs associated with fourth quarter events and stronger 2013 new item sell-in.Operating margin for the quarter was 10.1 percent, an increase of 170 basis points compared to the prior year. Normalized operating margin was 11.7 percent, a decrease of 10 basis points to the prior year. Lower structural SG&A costs reflecting the benefits of Project Renewal initiatives were offset by higher incentive compensation, customer programs and strategic SG&A spending on sales force expansion in Tools and Commercial Products in Latin America and Rubbermaid Healthcare in North America, and on increased advertising and promotion expenses in Writing.
Newell Rubbermaid Reports Solid Fourth Quarter 2012 Results And Provides 2013 Guidance
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