NEW YORK Colgate-Palmolive announced on Wednesday that it posted strong first-quarter results thanks in part to new product launches in the oral care segment.
Worldwide sales grew 15.5 percent to $3.7 billion and unit volume grew 5 percent. Excluding divestments, worldwide sales and unit volume grew 16 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.
First-quarter results include $21.2 million of aftertax charges related to the 2004 restructuring program. The year-ago quarter included restructuring charges of $29.9 million and other items totaling a net gain of $95.4 million aftertax.
Reported net income and diluted earnings per share in the quarter were $466.5 million and 86 cents, respectively. This compares with net income and diluted earnings per share of $486.6 and 89 cents, respectively, in the year-ago period. Excluding charges, net income increased 16 percent in the quarter to a record $487.7 million and diluted earnings per share increased 17 percent to 90 cents, also a record.
“We continue to believe that Colgate is executing at a high level and market share gains, price increases and new products should contribute to sustained top-line expansion in 2008,” stated SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst William Chappell in a research note.
In North America, sales grew 7 percent as unit volume rose 4.5 percent. New product launches contributed to growth in oral care.
Colgate Total Advanced Clean and Colgate Total Advanced Whitening toothpastes, supported by an integrated marketing campaign featuring Brooke Shields and a professional sampling program, helped drive market share for Colgate Total toothpaste to its highest quarterly share ever at 15.7 percent, according to the company. Colgate Max Fresh Burst and Colgate Sensitive toothpastes were also strong performers in the quarter. Meanwhile, Colgate’s share of the manual toothbrush market is at a record high of 27.1 percent year to date, up 1.3 share points versus year ago. The growth is fueled by the success of Colgate 360 degree, Colgate 360 degree Sensitive and new Colgate 360 degree Deep Clean manual toothbrushes.