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Colgate posts Q2 results

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Colgate-Palmolive announced on Thursday a boost in second-quarter net sales as its global market share in toothpaste and manual toothbrushes hit record highs year to date.

Net sales for the quarter totaled $4.35 billion, up 2% compared with the year-ago period. Organic sales grew 5.5%.

Net income, which included charges related to its restructuring program, totaled $561 million, or 60 cents per diluted share, for the quarter. This compares with net income of $627 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding items in both periods, net income during the second quarter 2013 was $662 million, an increase of 3% compared with the year-ago period, and diluted earnings per share of 70 cents.

“We expect our growth momentum to continue as we progress through the year. We are pleased that our global restructuring program is on track and proceeding smoothly. We also continue to be sharply focused on our aggressive funding-the-growth programs and our strategic worldwide pricing initiatives,” stated Ian Cook, chairman, president and CEO. “Based on this, we continue to anticipate another year of strong organic sales growth and gross margin expansion in 2013. In light of the ongoing impact of the Venezuela currency devaluation and the recent volatility in foreign exchange in other countries, we now expect diluted earnings per share to grow 4.5% to 5.5% for the year, on a dollar basis, assuming average exchange rates in the balance of the year are equal to current spot rates.”

Cook also stated that Colgate’s share of the global toothpaste market strengthened to 45.4% year to date, up 0.1 share points versus year ago. Its global leadership in manual toothbrushes also strengthened during the quarter with the company global market share in that category reaching 33.3% year to date, up 0.4 share points versus a year ago.

In North America, sales rose 5% during the quarter, as organic sales also rose 5%.

In the United States, new product launches are contributing to volume growth across categories, the company stated. Market share gains year to date were seen in manual toothbrushes, powered toothbrushes, mouthwash, body washes and fabric conditioners. In toothpaste, the success of Colgate Optic White and Colgate Optic White Dual Action toothpastes helped drive market share for the Colgate Optic White brand to 5.6% year to date, up 1.0 share points versus a year ago. In manual toothbrushes, Colgate achieved brand market leadership with its market share in that category reaching a record 37.2% year to date, up 0.6 share points versus year ago, the company stated. This success was driven by strong sales of Colgate 360° Optic White, Colgate 360° Total Advanced Floss Tip bristles and Colgate Extra Clean manual toothbrushes.

New products launching in the third quarter include Colgate MaxFresh Cool Scrub and Colgate Sensitive SmartFoam with Whitening toothpastes and Colgate SlimSoft manual toothbrush.
 


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Lean Cuisine introduces new 100% all-natural Honestly Good meals

BY Jason Owen

SOLON, Ohio — Lean Cuisine announced today a new line of entrées made with 100% all-natural ingredients and containing no preservatives.

New Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals feature six varities containing lean proteins like whole white meat chicken breasts and North Pacific fish filets, whole grains and farm-selected vegetables. Each variety comes with a sauce that can be added in separately.

"We’re shaking up the frozen category," said Mike Niethammer, Lean Cuisine director of marketing. "We recognize that today’s frozen consumer wants more. She’s seeking great tasting whole ingredients that she can feel good about, like wild caught salmon from sustainable sources and whole grain pilaf. By offering these innovative products in the natural section, we’re giving our Lean Cuisine consumers six new, delicious options to choose from, attracting new users and helping grow the category."

The new Honestly Good varieties feature new packaging with a 100% recyclable outer sleeve and a translucent tray, allowing the consumer to see the product.

The farm-selected vegetables are part of a partnership with select farmers where Lean Cuisine will donate a portion of the vegetables grown to local communities to serve those in need. Through the Honestly Good Giving campaign, Lean Cuisine hopes to donate one million servings of vegetables.

Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals are available in six varieties — pomegranate chicken, lemongrass salmon, roasted red pepper chicken, plum ginger grain-crusted fish, pineapple black pepper beef and honey citrus chicken — in the natural meals section of the freezer aisle at supermarkets nationwide.

The new line made its debut in March at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, and will be sampled at the 9th annual BlogHer Conference in Chicago, Illinois this week.


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CVS Caremark aims to help customers as survey spotlights ACA knowledge gap

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As states prepare their health insurance exchanges for open enrollment beginning Oct. 1, a new survey from CVS Caremark shows that while there has been an overall increase in awareness of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many of those eligible to enroll in health exchanges are asking for help. To assist customers, CVS Caremark will roll out a company wide information and outreach program.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to help Americans understand the new healthcare law and how it affects them so consumers receive the coverage that best fits their families," stated Helena Foulkes, EVP and chief healthcare strategy and marketing officer of CVS Caremark.

The survey results, based on a sample of over 1,000 respondents, found general awareness of the ACA has increased to 74%, up from 57% as seen in a similar 2011 CVS Caremark survey. But the new survey found that 36% of respondents who are likely to enroll in health exchanges need more information and help in evaluating the insurance exchange process. What’s more, perceptions about cost remain the biggest barrier to the likelihood of enrolling — and lack of knowledge could prove costly: Only 48% of those who are eligible for a subsidy believe that they are.

The CVS Caremark survey also found that pharmacies will be a primary resource to meet the needs of uninsured Americans, with 68% of those surveyed expecting retail pharmacies to offer health insurance information in-store and/or online. Among those asking for help, Hispanics newer to the country and the youngest group surveyed (aged 18 to 35) were significantly more likely to say they need help understanding the exchanges.

In an effort to fill the information gap, CVS Caremark will roll out a company wide information and outreach program to help customers gain access to critical health insurance marketplace information, including retail events and brochure displays at its more than 7,400 retail stores and 650 MinuteClinic locations. Information will also be available online at cvs.com/insurance.

"Even among the 50 million Americans who were uninsured in the last year, most filled at least one prescription," stated Foulkes. "Pharmacies hold the key to educating the public about their healthcare options and helping them on their path to better health."

 


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