Net sales for the global personal care product category of $175.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 declined 1.8 percent versus $178.1 million in the comparable period last year. Increased revenues in Europe were more than offset by lower net sales in North America and other geographic regions. North America revenues were significantly impacted by a major personal care industry category decline of nearly 10 percent, due largely to a shelf space cutback at major retailers, and labor disruptions at U.S. ports of entry that reduced product replenishment in the important holiday season. Excluding an unfavorable foreign exchange impact of $1.2 million, global personal care product category net sales decreased 1.1 percent for the first quarter.
The small appliances product category reported net sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 of $220.1 million, a decrease of 9.5 percent compared to $243.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Higher net sales in Europe, driven in part by growth in the U.K. and regional expansion in Western and Eastern Europe, were more than offset by lower revenues in North America, which were largely due to the planned and continued elimination of low margin promotions totaling nearly $20 million. The elimination of low margin holiday promotions contributed significantly to a more than 300 basis point improvement in North American small appliance gross margins quarter-over-quarter. Foreign exchange favorably impacted net sales by $1.3 million.
With segment net income, as adjusted, of $92.0 million, the Global Batteries & Appliances segment reported adjusted EBITDA of $110.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to adjusted EBITDA of $112.2 million in the year-earlier quarter, when segment net income was $89.9 million. Excluding an unfavorable foreign exchange impact of $2.6 million, segment adjusted EBITDA increased 1.0 percent in this year’s first quarter.