Spurred in part by a cost-cutting program and new offerings, SSL International L.L.C. is making headway in its recovery from a yearlong slump of depressed sales and profits.
The company estimated in its six-month financial update report that a restructuring program, unveiled April 16, will trim costs by about $30 million over a two-year period and that first-half sales and earnings were on target to meet SSL's goals for the year.
Chief Executive Brian Buchan and Group Finance Director Garry Watts said in a prepared joint statement the program is proceeding as planned and the company expects to complete a review of its manufacturing and supply operations by year-end.
``Everything is still in line with expectations,'' a company spokeswoman said.
SSL said all the firm's business areas likely will hit their profit targets when interim results are posted Nov. 19, with consumer sales for the first six months at $279 million. Medical product sales, including latex and synthetic gloves, will be in the $147 million range during the first half, about even with last year's results, SSL estimated.
Enhanced Durex condom advertising campaigns and the introduction of new toiletry products helped boost sales, the executives said.
The firm said its flat medical product results were caused by price competition in a mature business offsetting volume growth in the U.S. surgical glove market.
SSL launched the restructuring program in April, which is expected to lead to the loss of 300 jobs by early 2003.