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Kimberly-Clark reports Q1 earnings

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS Kimberly-Clark reported Wednesday that its net sales for the first quarter ended March 31 decreased 6.6%.

The company disclosed that its earnings per share for the quarter was down 6% to $0.98, compared with $1.04, and adjusted earnings of $1.08 in the prior-year.

“Business conditions in the first quarter proved to be somewhat more challenging than we predicted earlier this year, with significant headwinds from weak global economies and volatile currency fluctuations impacting our results,” said Kimberly-Clark chairman and CEO Thomas Falk. “Despite the difficult environment, we made progress in several areas during the quarter. We continued to pursue our targeted growth initiatives and build our brands. We improved profitability in our Personal Care, Consumer Tissue and Health Care businesses, indicating that our focus on increasing margins is starting to pay off. We delivered continued double-digit organic top-line growth in developing and emerging markets. We also generated strong cash flow, including early benefits from our efforts to improve working capital. While this progress is encouraging, we are not yet where we need to be. We are committed to overcome the challenges facing us and deliver improved bottom-line results.”

The company also said that its organic line of products increased during the quarter, the company delivered double-digit organic sales growth in developing and emerging markets. The company anticipates organic sales growth of 1 to 2%.

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Stop & Shop, Giant Food partner with Edy’s Dibs in fight against childhood cancer

BY Drug Store News Team

OAKLAND, Calif. Stop & Shop and Giant Food have teamed up with Edy’s Dibs bite-sized snacks to help fight childhood cancer. Consumers will be able to enjoy free Dibs while donating to Triple Winner charities during a fundraising day on Saturday, May 2, to benefit local cancer research centers throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Maine, Maryland and Virginia.

Consumers who donate $1 will receive a free Dibs snack bag and a Triple Winner scratch-off ticket, which will offers a chance to win free products, prizes and up to $10,000 cash. Consumers who donate $3 will receive the free snack bag, a limited edition Triple Winner keepsake and three Triple Winner scratch-off tickets.

Stop and Shop and Giant will donate 100% of the money raised during the event to benefit the Triple Winner charities providing children’s cancer research and treatment. Proceeds from New England-area Stop & Shop stores benefit The Jimmy Fund, New York and New Jersey stores’ proceeds go to the Department of Pediatrics at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Giant stores’ proceeds will benefit The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine and The Children’s Cancer Foundation. In addition, a $25,000 donation to these same Triple Winner charities will be made by Edy’s from sales of it’s specially marked, limited edition Dibs Nestle Crunch bite-sized snack bag singles, available only at all Stop & Shop and Giant stores beginning April 10, until supplies last.

“We are proud to partner with Edy’s and Stop & Shop,” said Paul A. Meyers, vice chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “With their support, we can continue the development of new, more effective treatments for childhood cancers, reducing side effects and improving the outcome for every child.”

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New NPD report reveals rise in private-label usage for products

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO Tough economic times certainly have been a boon for private-label foods and beverages, but according to The NPD Group, a market research company, private-label usage has been growing over the last decade.

According to a new NPD report, “Private Label Perceptions, Usage Patterns & Intentions,” last year, 24% of all food and beverages served in American homes were store brands, up from 18% in 1999. Today, 97% of all households consume private-label foods on a regular basis.

“There is no question that private-label foods have become an integral part of American life,” said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at NPD and author of Eating Patterns in America. “Furthermore, we do not hide private-label foods as an ingredient or as an additive to another dish. Today over half of all store-brand food eatings are the end dish.”

Price and value are the chief reasons why consumers purchase private-label or store brands, according to an NPD survey of grocery shoppers, but most respondents also feel that the quality of store brands is often equal to, or in some cases better than, name brands. Users of private-label foods and beverages span all income levels and demographic profiles.

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