BEAUTY CARE

Oral care innovations help drive Colgate-Palmolive’s quarterly earnings

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Colgate-Palmolive experienced a strong third quarter as its global market shares in toothpaste and manual toothbrushes reached record highs year-to-date, the company announced on Thursday.

"Overall, we are very pleased with our solid results this quarter, despite aggressive competitive activity and difficult economic conditions around the world," stated Ian Cook, chairman, president and CEO. 

"Colgate’s global market shares in toothpaste and manual toothbrushes are both at record highs year to date. Colgate’s share of the global toothpaste market strengthened to 44.2% year-to-date, led by share gains in Brazil, China, India, Venezuela, France, Greece and the United Kingdom," Cook added. "Colgate also strengthened its global leadership in manual toothbrushes, with its global market share in that category reaching 31.5% year to date, up 1.6 share points versus a year ago."

Worldwide sales were $3.9 billion, down 1.5% compared with the year-ago period. Organic sales grew 3%. Net income increased 5% to $619 million, and diluted earnings per share rose 8% to $1.21. North American sales grew 2% during the quarter, as organic sales grew 1.5%.

In the United States, new product launches across all price points contributed to growth in oral care, including Colgate Triple Action, Colgate Sensitive MultiProtection and Colgate Max White with Mini Bright Strips toothpastes, the company stated. Its share of the manual toothbrush market reached a record 33.5% year to date, up 1.8 share points versus a year ago.

The company added that a major relaunch of Colgate Total toothpaste is just getting under way in the United States, with upgraded packaging that includes new graphics and a redesigned stand-up cap. The relaunch will be supported with a new integrated marketing campaign and new communications to dental professionals, both focused on highlighting the 12-hour antibacterial protection of Colgate Total toothpaste.

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WSJ: OPI may be looking to sell

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK There’s talk that nail polish company OPI Products is looking to sell itself for at least $900 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

OPI reportedly is in discussions with several parties, including Coty and private-equity firm Bain Capital, according to WSJ, which cited "people familiar with the matter."

Harris Shepard Public Relations, which represents OPI, stated: "The rumors about the sale of OPI have persisted for years. Other than that, [we] have no comment. Thank you."

WSJ reported that Bain didn’t respond to its request for a comment, and Coty stated that it "had no news to report at this time."

Citing Euromonitor International data, WSJ reported that OPI’s products held roughly 6% of the U.S. market last year.

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P&G’s CEO on Q1 results: ‘Purpose-inspired growth strategy’ is working

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble announced on Wednesday that first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations exceeded estimates and rose 5% as net sales rose 2% to $20.1 billion.

"Our first quarter was a good start to the fiscal year. We maintained our top-line momentum and delivered profitable market share growth," stated chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald. "We are confident that our purpose-inspired growth strategy — to touch and improve the lives of more consumers in more parts of the world, more completely — will continue to drive growth and create value for shareholders. While the macro-economic environment remains challenging, the solid first-quarter results demonstrate that our strategy is working."

Net sales for the July-to-September period rose 2% to $20.1 billion, as organic sales grew 4%. Volume increased 8%, with growth in all major geographic regions and 5-of-6 business segments.

Key initiatives for the quarter included the North American launches of Crest Pro-Health Clinical, Tide with Acti-Lift, Gain dishwashing liquid, Febreze Set ‘n Refresh and Gucci Guilty.

In beauty, net sales were in line with the prior year period at $4.9 billion on unit volume growth of 4%. Organic sales grew 3%. Volume in female beauty grew mid-single digits, primarily behind double-digit growth of Olay. Net earnings rose 7% to $829 million.

In grooming, net sales rose 2% to $1.9 billion on a 5% increase in unit volume. Organic sales were up 6%. Male grooming volume grew mid-single digits due to higher shipments of blades and razors, mainly in developing regions, and deodorants in North America and Latin America. Net earnings increased 13% to $398 million.

In health care, net sales were in line with the prior year period at $3 billion on unit volume growth of 6%. Organic sales grew 4%. Oral care volume was up in the high single digits behind the launch of Crest Pro-Health Clinical in North America, expansion of Oral-B toothpaste in Brazil, Belgium and Holland, and the success of the Pro-Health innovation in multiple markets around the world. Net earnings declined 10% to $495 million driven by lower operating margin mainly due to higher marketing spending.

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