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Newell Q3 profit tops estimates on cost controls, Latam

By Dhanya Skariachan

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Newell Rubbermaid Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, boosted by tight cost controls and strength in its Latin American business.

The maker of Sharpie pens and Rubbermaid storage containers has banked on the fast-growing Latin American market to offset weakness in crisis-ridden Europe and Asia.

Earlier this year, Newell decided to sell its hardware and teaching aids units to focus on products for contractors and on emerging markets.

Under Chief Executive Mike Polk, a former Unilever Plc

executive who took the helm in July 2011, Newell has kept a tight lid on costs by cutting jobs, consolidating manufacturing and distribution facilities and reducing the number of business units.

Net income in the third quarter rose to $193.3 million, or 66 cents a share, from $108.3 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring costs, tax benefits and a gain from the sale of its hardware business, it earned 52 cents a share. On that basis, the average analyst estimate was 49 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 2.1 percent to $1.49 billion, while analysts expected $1.50 billion. Sales rose in Latin America and the United States, but fell in its Europe, Middle East and Africa unit and in Asia Pacific.

The company also stood by its full-year profit forecast of $1.80 to $1.84 a share, before items. Analysts expect $1.82.