Church & Dwight Co., Inc. reported net income for the quarter ended March 27, 2009 of $62.6 million or $0.88 per share, compared to last year’s reported net income of $56.2 million or $0.81 per share. Excluding the previously announced plant restructuring charge of $0.04 per share, this year’s first quarter earnings were $0.92 per share.
Net sales for the first quarter increased 5% to $580.9 million. Organic sales increased by approximately 6% for the quarter which excludes the impact of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures. Foreign exchange reduced reported sales by approximately 4% in the quarter, while acquisitions net of divestitures, increased reported sales by approximately 3%.
“We are very pleased with our solid first quarter results, particularly in this difficult economic environment," said James R. Craigie, chairman and CEO, Church & Dwight. "Our results reflect continued strong organic sales growth and exceptional gross and operating margin expansion. The organic sales growth was driven by strong consumer appeal for our high quality value-oriented products, carryover benefits of 2008 pricing actions, new products and a significant increase in marketing spending, partially offset by soft sales in the specialty pProducts dDivision. The improved gross margin reflects pricing, earlier than expected benefits from lower commodity costs, acquisition benefits relating to the acquired businesses from Coty, Inc. and cost reduction programs.”
Consumer Domestic sales also benefited from October price increases on liquid laundry detergents, toothpaste and battery operated toothbrushes.
“We will continue to introduce a steady pipeline of new and improved products in 2009 to drive solid organic growth," said Craigie. "Specifically, we will introduce over 20 new products in 2009. These products will be largely focused on our eight power brands and will have a strong value orientation.”
Among other expansions, the company expanded the Nair depilatory product line, and Orajel also added two new products
“As a result of our strong first quarter, a better understanding of consumer purchasing trends in this recessionary economy, and detailed discussions with retailers concerning their support for our brands over the remainder of the year, we are now more optimistic about our 2009 business forecast," said Craigie. "We now expect to achieve organic growth of at least 3% in 2009 driven by the strong consumer appeal for our value-oriented products, which now comprise 40% of our domestic revenue base, our appealing pipeline of new products, and higher marketing spending.”