The drop in sales reflected the company’s significant exposure in the Asia Pacific market and the resulting negative currency translations. This meant that on an organic basis, sales grew by 0.5%.
The company said that the gains were mainly seen in the wet shave, sun and skin care divisions, which all performed well, particularly in North America, where organic net sales increased by 2.7%.
Sun care leads the way
The biggest gains were seen in the Sun and Skin care segment, where net sales increased by 4.4%, driven by a significant growth in sun care sales in international markets, particularly in the Asian and Oceania markets.
Sales for the wet shave business were up by 1.1%, and were particularly hard hit by currency translations. Underlying growth was seen in women's systems, disposables and shave preps in North America, as well as men's and women's systems in Asia.
The negative impact of currency translations also impacted the bottom line, with the company reporting that net sales for the quarter were down by 7.9% to $495m.
Progress in the top-line performance
"We made progress on our top-line performance in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Organic net sales grew 50 basis points, driven by a return to growth in North America," said David Hatfield, Edgewell's president and CEO.
"Solid underlying growth enabled us to overcome the impact of ongoing international go-to-market changes, and we continued to make progress on our key initiatives for 2016.”
Edgewell Personal Care was spun off from the Energizer home care and batteries business last year. The spin-off has paid dividends for the Energizer business, which revealed its latest quarterly results at the same time, surpassing market expectations on strong sales growth.
Company executives added that the outlook for the rest of the financial year remained unchanged, with currency translation expected to hit the business by approximately 1.5%, meaning organic net sales should be flat.