Burt's Bees Helps Buoy Clorox Results

The Clorox Company reported results for its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31, 2013. The company reported a 1% increase in sales and a 2% decrease in diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations versus the year-ago quarter.

"We grew sales 1% on top of strong 7% sales growth in the year-ago quarter," said chairman and CEO Don Knauss. "In addition to a challenging year-over-year comparison, the U.S. had the coldest March weather in more than 10 years, which led to double-digit volume and sales declines in our charcoal business. In addition, declining currencies in Argentina and Venezuela also affected our sales results. Excluding the impact of these headwinds, total company sales grew 3%, with solid increases in most of our U.S. businesses and growth in most of our International business."

Said Knauss, "Looking at the full fiscal year, I'm confident in the plans we have in place to deliver our earnings outlook, including increasing investments in demand-building programs, delivering meaningful product innovation and improving productivity across our operations."

Clorox reported third-quarter earnings of $134 million, or $1.00 diluted EPS. This compares with $134 million, or $1.02 diluted EPS, in the year-ago quarter. Volume for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 was flat. Sales grew 1% primarily due to the benefit of price increases, with growth in three out of four reportable segments.

Housed in its lifestyle division, which overall saw a 1% volume increase and 2% sales increase before a 7% pretax earnings decrease, Burt’s Bees drove volume growth with double digit increases, reflecting new innovation in lip care products.

Clorox anticipates sales growth for fiscal 2014 in the range of 2–4%, which reflects a negative impact of 1 percentage point from foreign currency declines in Argentina and other countries. The company's sales outlook also reflects continued product innovation and demand-building programs across the company's brands.

More from this financial report from The Clorox Company is available here.

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