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Colgate-Palmolive Reports Q4 2011 Financials

Posted: January 26, 2012

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The company’s North American net sales, which represent 18% of overall company sales, increased 3.5% in fourth quarter 2011. Unit volume increased 3% with 0.5% higher pricing and flat foreign exchange. Organic sales increased 3.5% during the quarter. Operating profit in North America decreased 11% in fourth quarter 2011 to $192 million, or 25.4% of net sales. In the U.S., new product launches including Colgate Optic White and Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpastes and the relaunch of Colgate Total toothpaste are strengthening Colgate's leadership in toothpaste, with its share of that market reaching 35.9% year to date, up 0.6 share points versus year ago.

Successful new products in the U.S. in other categories include Softsoap brand Pomegranate and Mango Infusions and Softsoap brand Coconut Scrub body washes and Palmolive Soft Touch with Vitamin E dish liquid. New introductions reaching store shelves now include Speed Stick Power deodorants, Irish Spring Clear & Fresh Skin body wash and Palmolive Fresh Sponge dish liquid.

In Latin America, which represents 28% of the company’s overall sales, Colgate-Palmolive’s net sales rose 6.5% during fourth quarter 2011 with unit volume increasing 3%. Excluding divested businesses, Latin America unit volume grew 6%. Volume gains were led by Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. Higher pricing added 8.5% and foreign exchange was negative 5%. Organic sales for Latin America increased 14.5% during the quarter. Colgate's strong leadership in oral care throughout Latin America continued during the quarter with toothpaste market share gains year to date led by Brazil, Venezuela, Central America, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

Strong sales of Colgate Luminous White, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Multi-Protection, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Whitening and Colgate Total toothpastes contributed to growth throughout the region. In mouthwash, Colgate's market share is at a record high in the region with gains driven by the relaunch of Colgate Plax mouthwashes. Products in other categories contributing to market share gains included Palmolive Naturals Relaxing Softness Cream and Lavender and Protex Advanced Clean bar soaps, Lady Speed Stick Stainguard and Speed Stick Sensitive Power deodorants, Suavitel Magic Moments fabric conditioner and Axion with Ajax dish liquid.

For its Europe/South Pacific business, which contributed 21% of overall company sales, the company logged net sales increasing 5% during fourth quarter 2011. Unit volume increased 7.5% with 3% lower pricing and 0.5% positive foreign exchange. The Sanex acquisition added 6.5% to sales and volume growth for the region. Volume gains were led by the United Kingdom, Spain and France. Organic sales for Europe/South Pacific decreased 2%. Colgate strengthened its oral care leadership in the Europe/South Pacific region with toothpaste share gains across the region led by Italy, Spain, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Norway, Portugal, Serbia and Slovakia. Successful premium products driving share gains include Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Multi-Protection, elmex Intensive Cleaning and Colgate Max White One toothpastes. New introductions to the market included Colgate Total Pro Gum Health and Colgate Max White One Active toothpastes.