BEAUTY CARE

Colgate-Palmolive sales decline, new products slated to launch this year

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Colgate-Palmolive, which posted a dip in North American sales during the fourth quarter, experienced share gains in oral care and has outlined new product launches planned for 2011.

North American sales declined 2% during the fourth quarter as unit volume increased 1.5% with 4% lower pricing and 0.5% positive foreign exchange. Organic sales slipped 2.5%. North America operating profit decreased 8% during the quarter, driven by increased promotional investments and higher material costs, partially offset by cost-savings initiatives.

The company stated that its share of the manual toothbrush market is at 33.4% year to date, up 1.3 share points versus a year ago, including Colgate Wisp mini-brush whose market share is at 4.9% year to date. Colgate 360, ActiFlex, Colgate Max White and Colgate Extra Clean manual toothbrushes contributed to the share gains.

For 2011, new introductions slated to hit store shelves during the first quarter include Colgate Total Gum Defense, Colgate MaxClean SmartFoam toothpastes, Colgate 360 Surround and Colgate Triple Action manual toothbrushes.

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BEAUTY CARE

Coty adds two partners to board of directors

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Private equity firms Berkshire Partners and Rhone have made minority equity investments in Coty, with each of the investors being represented on the company’s board of directors.

Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

"This mutually beneficial agreement allows Coty to continue its accelerated growth path organically and externally around the globe," stated Bernd Beetz, Coty CEO. "By bringing these partners on board, Coty will be in a stronger position to prepare for future and larger acquisitions, while maintaining the culture that makes Coty such a unique place in the beauty industry."

As previously reported, Coty announced several strategic acquisitions in late 2010, including OPI, a provider of nail care products; Philosophy, a skin care and cosmetics company; TJoy, a Chinese skin care company; and Dr. Scheller Cosmetics AG, a manufacturer of German makeup and skin care brands.

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Expanding market shares drive sales for P&G

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble announced on Thursday that second-quarter sales rose 2% as the company works to expand market shares in more parts of the world.

Net sales for the quarter rose 2% to $21.3 billion, driven by 6% volume growth, which was offset partially by unfavorable foreign exchange and mix impacts. Organic sales grew 3%.

Net earnings dropped 28% to $3.3 billion, or $1.11 per diluted share, compared with $4.7 billion, or $1.49 per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Net earnings from continuing operations totaled $1.11 per share, up 10%.

Core earnings per share rose 3% to $1.13 per share — 2 cents per share higher than the top end of the company’s guidance range. Core EPS is defined as diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations, excluding charges for pending European legal matters and the benefit of a significant adjustment to an income tax reserve, P&G said.

Volume rose 6% behind growth in all major geographic regions, 16-of-17 top countries, 5-of-6 business segments and 19-of-23 billion-dollar brands, P&G stated. Market share was up in all geographic regions and the majority of key countries and brands. Businesses representing about 60% of net sales maintained or grew market share.

"We are expanding market shares by touching and improving the lives of more consumers in more parts of the world, more completely through our innovation and expansion plans," stated chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald. "This is driving strong volume and sales growth ahead of market levels. Core EPS is ahead of year-ago levels, and we are on track to deliver 7% to 9% growth for the year."

In beauty, net sales rose 1% to $5.3 billion, and organic sales grew 3%. Volume growth, which was driven by double-digit growth in developing regions, grew 5% as organic volume, which excludes the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures, rose 6%. Net earnings rose 2% to $896 million.

Grooming net sales rose 3% to $2.2 billion on a 5% increase in unit volume. Organic sales rose 6%. Volume growth was led by high single-digit growth in developing regions, while developed regions delivered low-single digit growth. Volume in male grooming increased mid-single digits primarily because of blades and razors in developing regions and deodorants in North America. Net earnings rose 11% to $482 million.

In health care, net sales rose 2% to $3.1 billion on unit volume growth of 5%. Organic sales grew 5%. Volume was up high-single digits in developing regions and mid-single digits in developed regions. Volume growth was led by oral care, which was up high-single digits thanks to the success and incremental merchandising support behind Crest 3D White in North America; Oral-B toothpaste expansions in Brazil, Belgium and Holland; and Pro-Health innovation in multiple markets around the world. Net earnings slipped 1% to $531 million due to higher marketing spend and higher commodity costs.

For fiscal year 2011, net sales are expected to increase 3% to 5%, and the company maintained its guidance for organic sales growth of 4% to 6%. Diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations are expected to be between $3.89 and $3.99, up 10% to 13%. Core EPS is expected to be between $3.91 and $4.01, up 7% to 9%.

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