updated 8/4/2005 9:39:53 AM ET 2005-08-04T13:39:53

Gillette Co., the shaving supplies powerhouse that is being acquired by Procter & Gamble Co., said Thursday that second-quarter earnings jumped 17 percent on strong demand for new products and cost reductions.

The company saw income rise to $498 million, or 49 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30 from $426 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue grew 13 percent to $2.77 billion from $2.44 billion, with sales of blades and razors increasing 11 percent to $1.21 billion. Sales at the company’s Duracell battery business rose 18 percent to $539 million, due in part to an early start to the hurricane season in Florida.

Analysts were looking for lower earnings of 46 cents per share on sales of $2.7 billion, according to a Thomson Financial survey.

Gillette attributed much of the sales growth to demand for new products such as its M3Power Nitro and Venus Vibrance shavers and TAG body spray, along with strong results from more established brands.

Favorable exchange rates added 3 percentage points to the sales growth.

The company said it also benefited from a shift to more profitable premium brands, overhead cost reductions and improvements in manufacturing productivity.

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