Newell-Rubbermaid (NWL) revealed stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit on Friday as sharp gains in its baby and professional segments, coupled with tighter cost controls, helped offset a decline in consumer demand.

The maker of Sharpie markers and Rubbermaid storage containers reported net income of $79.3 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $75.7 million, or 25 cents.

Excluding one-time restructuring charges, Newell-Rubbermaid earned 33 cents, beating average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by two pennies.

The Atlanta-based company has been slicing expenses over the last few month by both cutting the number of global business units to nine from 13 and consolidating manufacturing plants.

Sales climbed 4.6% to $1.33 billion, virtually matching the Street’s view. While revenue in its consumer segment slumped 2.6% to $639.6 million, the professional group grew 9.2% to $510.6 million.

The baby and parenting essentials segment increased 21.2% to $182.2 million.

Newell-Rubbermaid backed its fiscal 2012 sales and earnings guidance, anticipating core sales growth of 2% to 3% and diluted earnings between $1.63 and $1.69 a share.

Analyst are looking for a full-year profit of $1.67 on revenue of $5.95 billion.

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