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Colgate-Palmolive Company reported record net income and diluted earnings per share in fourth quarter 2009 of $631 million and $1.21, respectively. Worldwide sales were $4,081 million, up 11.5% versus the year ago quarter, and unit volume increased 3%. Global pricing increased 3.5%, while foreign exchange added 5%. Organic sales (excluding foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestments) grew 6.5%.
Gross profit margin increased to 59.5% in fourth quarter 2009 from 56.0% in the year ago period. Excluding restructuring charges in 2008, gross profit margin increased 320 basis points to 59.5% in fourth quarter 2009 from 56.3% in fourth quarter 2008, primarily reflecting the benefits of increased pricing and cost-savings programs.
"We are delighted to have finished the year so strongly with fourth quarter operating profit, net income and earnings per share all increasing double-digit and organic sales growing a healthy 6.5%, driven by positive volume and higher pricing," said Ian Cook, chairman, president and CEO. "We are particularly pleased that our renewed focus on unit volume growth is indeed working with global unit volume increasing sequentially in each of the last two quarters. We are delighted that Colgate's global market shares in toothpaste and manual toothbrushes both finished the year at record highs.
"We are excited to be entering 2010 with a full pipeline of new products across categories. We expect the excellent gross profit margin to continue which should allow for higher advertising spending behind new and existing Colgate products. Overall, despite difficult economic conditions around the world and the currency devaluation in Venezuela, our strong top and bottom line momentum should continue which bodes well for another year of double-digit earnings per share growth in 2010."
For the full year 2009, worldwide sales as reported were $15,327 million, even with the year ago period, reflecting 0.5% unit volume growth, 6.0% higher pricing and 6.5% negative foreign exchange. Organic sales grew 6.5%.