BEAUTY CARE

Harris Teeter brushes up savings for oral care purchases

BY Allison Cerra

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Harris Teeter will reward customers for their oral care purchases through the end of the month.

Earlier this season, Harris Teeter began offering a special in-store reward for its VIC card members when they purchased select oral care products. Customers earn one point for every dollar spent on any combination of oral care products — 40 points equates to a $5 reward, according to Harris Teeter’s website. The $5 automatically will be deducted on the next transaction of $5 or more, regardless of the items purchased, by anyone in a VIC household, through Sept. 14.

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Clorox’s Q4, fiscal-year growth driven by certain brands

BY Allison Cerra

OAKLAND, Calif. Clorox reported strong earnings growth for its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2010, citing robust gross margin expansion and top-line growth within the company’s targeted range for the year.

Clorox reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $171 million, or $1.20 diluted earnings per share, versus $170 million, or $1.20 diluted EPS, in the year-ago quarter. Earnings in the current quarter reflected higher sales and lower interest expense, offset by a higher effective tax rate and lower gross margin.

Selling and administrative expenses increased to 13.4% of sales from 12.3% of sales in the year-ago quarter, primarily driven by higher incentive compensation, and investments the company is making in facility and global IT improvements and the international expansion of the Burt’s Bees business. “We believe these are important strategic investments that, once completed, will further enable growth, future cost savings and new product innovation,” said CFO Dan Heinrich.

The company also said its sales were driven by an increased shipment of certain products, including auto care product ArmorAll, Pine-Sol, Burt’s Bees and Glad trash bags.

“I’m very pleased with our performance for the fiscal year,” said Clorox chairman and CEO Don Knauss. “We increased our total demand-building investment, driving higher all-outlet market share in the U.S. and share gains in international markets. I’m especially pleased we delivered 15% growth in economic profit, the metric we believe best aligns over the long term with creating value and generating shareholder return,” Knauss said. “Our organization continues to do a fantastic job of executing the day-to-day business in a very challenging economic environment.”

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P&G reports positive Q4, fiscal 2010 sales

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble experienced a 5% jump in its net sales to $18.9 billion for the fourth quarter and a 3% rise to $78.9 billion for fiscal 2010, the consumer goods maker said Tuesday.

Diluted net earnings per share were 71 cents for the fourth quarter and $4.11 for the fiscal year, near the top end of the company’s guidance range of $4.06 to $4.12.  Diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations increased four percent in fiscal 2010 to $3.53. Core EPS, which represents diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations excluding certain items, was up 6%to $3.67 for the fiscal year driven by sales growth and operating margin expansion. The company generated record adjusted free cash flow of $14 billion in fiscal 2010.

“We are executing on all three dimensions of our growth strategy – touching and improving more consumers’ lives, in more parts of the world, more completely,” said P&G chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald. “Our results in fiscal 2010 were ahead of our original expectations, and we are pleased with the trend of the business. The investments we’ve made in innovation, marketing support and consumer value have delivered accelerating unit volume and profitable market share growth throughout the year, which are clear indications that our strategy is working.”

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