BEAUTY CARE

Actress Natascha McElhone named new face of Neutrogena

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Neutrogena has signed actress Natascha McElhone to be the brand ambassador for its facial moisturizers and treatments.

In her new role, McElhone will be featured in a national television and print campaign as the face of the Neutrogena Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration product line.

As the newest member of the Neutrogena family, McElhone joins other celebrity spokespeople including Diane Lane, Jennifer Garner, Vanessa Hudgens, Hayden Panettiere, Gabrielle Union, Susie Castillo and Malin Ackermann. 

McElhone currently stars in the Showtime Golden Globe Award-winning comedy series “Californication,” where she plays Karen, the ex-girlfriend of David Duchovny and the mother of his child.

 McElhone, a versatile English actress in film, screen and stage who studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, is currently in production on “Heaven and Earth” also starring Pierce Brosnan.

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Colgate-Palmolive’s 4Q net income shows significant increase

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Colgate-Palmolive experienced a boost in fourth-quarter net income as its toothpaste market share hit an all-time high.

Reported net income and diluted earnings per share during the quarter totaled $497 million and 94 cents, respectively. In the fourth quarter of 2007, net income and diluted earnings per share were $414.9 million and 77 cents, respectively.

Excluding restructuring charges, net income for the current quarter rose 7% to $527.5 million and diluted earnings per share increased 10% to $1, an all-time record. In the year-ago period, net income and diluted earnings per share, excluding restructuring charges, were $490.7 million and 91 cents, respectively.

Worldwide sales rose 0.5% during the quarter to a record $3.66 billion. Excluding divested businesses, worldwide sales and unit price volume grew 1% and 1.5%, respectively, and organic sales grew 9%.

North American sales grew 1.5% to a record level in the fourth quarter as operating profit rose 5% to an all-time record level.

In U.S. 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 a record high of 16% forthe year. Market share for Colgate Max Fresh toothpaste also hit a record high, according to the company, at 4.1% for the year. In the manual toothbrush market, Colgate?s share reached a record 27.1% for the year, up 1.5 share points versus the year-ago period. This success was fueled by Colgate 360, Colgate 360 Sensitive and new Colgate 360 Deep Clean manual toothbrushes.

For the first quarter of 2009, Colgate is launching in oral care Colgate Max White and Colgate Sensitive Enamel Protect toothpastes, as well as a Colgate Max White manual toothbrush.

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P&G posts 2Q results

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble posted second-quarter earnings per share and organic sales in line with company expectations as it acknowledged that the environment will likely “remain difficult and highly volatile” in the near term.

“As expected, this was a particularly challenging quarter,” stated chairman and CEO A.G. Lafley. “Despite this, we grew organic sales 2% and delivered against our going in EPS guidance. We expect the environment will remain difficult and highly volatile—at least in the near term. We are focused on the fundamentals that are critical to success in our business. We will continue to build brands that deliver better value for consumers by leading innovation and managing cost and productivity programs with discipline. Our effort in these areas give me confidence that P&G will continue to grow profitability and generate attractive returns for shareholders over the long-term.”

Net sales declined 3% to $20.4 billion for the quarter driven by unfavorable foreign exchange and lower shipment volume. Organic sales, which exclude the impacts of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign exchange, were up 2% for the quarter.

Net earnings rose 53% to $5 billion and diluted net earnings per share rose 61% to $1.58. Net earnings from continuing operations slipped 7% to $3 billion due to lower net sales and operating margin.

In beauty, net sales slipped 4% to $4.9 billion for the quarter, as organic sales were in line with the previous year-end. According to P&G, net sales were down due to a 4% unfavorable foreign exchange impact and a 1% decline in volume, partially offset by a 1% positive pricing impact. Net earnings declined 10% during the quarter to $799 million primarily because of a reduction in net sales and lower operating margin from higher commodity costs.

In grooming, net sales declined 7% to $2 billion. Organic sales increased 1%. Volume declined 6% primarily due to a double-digit decline of Braun. Price increases taken across premium shaving systems added 4% to net sales.

Product mix contributed 1% to net sales behind continued growth of premium innovations such as Gillette Fusion. Unfavorable foreign exchange reduced net sales by 6%, and the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures reduced net sales by 2%. Net earnings decreased 3% to $416 million for the quarter primarily due to lower net sales, partially offset by higher operating margin from price increases and improved product mix.

For the 2009 fiscal year, the company expects organic sales to grow by 2% to 5%. Organic volume is expected to be flat to down 2%. Foreign exchange remains highly volatile and is expected to reduce sales by about 5%. The net impact of acquisitions and divestitures is estimated to be flat to negative 1%. Total sales growth is expected to be flat or negative 4%.

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