Tupperware Corp.'s U.S. operations remain a drag on the firm's financial results as it prepares to spin off as a separate company from parent Premark International Inc. during the second quarter of 1996. Premark reported Tupperware's U.S. business lost $1.9 million for the quarter ended March 30 vs. a loss of $4.6 million a year ago.
All other Tupperware businesses were profitable in the 1996 quarter, led by Europe, Africa and the Middle East, which logged profit of $30.2 million, down from $44 million a year earlier.
Tupperware, headquartered in Orlando, Fla., has laid off workers at its sole U.S. injection molding plant in Hemingway, S.C., because of weak U.S. sales. It also plans to sell its Halls, Tenn., facility, which stopped molding in 1993. Meanwhile, it is considering expansion of international operations.
Premark of Deerfield, Ill., said it is ``on target'' to spin off Tupperware in the second quarter, but officials could not be reached to provide a more exact schedule.
Premark cited Germany's weak economy for a 15.3 percent drop in sales to $146.8 million in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in the first quarter.
North and South American sales except the United States increased by 50.9 percent to $62.2 million. Asia Pacific sales grew 5.9 percent to 76.2 million while U.S. sales were nearly flat at $43.8 million.
Tupperware's first quarter profit was $46.8 million, down 1.2 percent.
North and South American profit, excluding the U.S. results, more than tripled to $9.2 million.