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Colgate-Palmolive Company reported worldwide net sales of $4,172 million in fourth quarter 2011, an increase of 5% versus fourth quarter 2010. Global unit volume grew 4%, pricing increased 3% and foreign exchange was negative 2%. Excluding divested businesses, global unit volume grew 4.5%. The Sanex acquisition contributed 1.5% to sales and volume growth. Organic sales (net sales excluding foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestments) grew 6%. Net income in fourth quarter 2011 was $634 million, an increase of 2% versus fourth quarter 2010.
For the full year 2011, worldwide net sales were $16,734 million, up 7.5% versus full year 2010. Global unit volume grew 3.5%, pricing increased 1.0% and foreign exchange was positive 3.0%. Excluding divested businesses, global unit volume grew 4.0%. The Sanex acquisition contributed 1% to full year sales and volume growth. Organic sales grew 4.0%. Net income for full year 2011 was $2,431 million, up from $2,203 million in 2010.
Ian Cook, Colgate-Palmolive’s chairman, president and CEO, commented on the results and outlook excluding the 2011 and 2010 items noted above, saying, "We are pleased to have finished the year with excellent top-line momentum and to have achieved our profit goals, despite continuing increases in material costs, an intense competitive environment and volatile macroeconomic conditions worldwide. The excellent 6% organic sales growth, which was the largest increase we have seen in six quarters, was driven by unit volume gains and higher pricing worldwide. The robust growth was led by the emerging markets where organic sales grew 12% in the quarter. This strong top-line momentum should continue into 2012, fueled by new products across all categories and in all geographies.
"Pleasingly, our continued sharp focus on cost-saving programs in all areas of the business enabled us to achieve full year gross profit margin at the high end of our forecasted range, while also lowering overheads as a percentage of sales. 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 44.3% year to date, up 0.3 share points versus year ago. Our global leadership in manual toothbrushes also strengthened during the quarter with Colgate's global market share in that category reaching 31.7% year to date, up 0.5 share points versus year ago.
"As we enter 2012, macroeconomic conditions and foreign exchange volatility are an increasing challenge. Despite that, we are planning to improve our worldwide market shares and volume growth with increased advertising support behind many new and existing Colgate products. We continue to be sharply focused on our aggressive funding-the-growth initiatives and anticipate that the benefits from those programs, combined with our strategic worldwide pricing initiatives, many of which have already been implemented, will help us achieve gross margin expansion in 2012 and grow diluted earnings per share for the year at a double-digit rate, on a currency neutral basis. If average exchange rates for full year 2012 were to equal current spot rates, currency translation would decrease full year diluted earnings per share growth by approximately 4%," he concluded.