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New product launches help fuel Colgate’s U.S. sales, market share in Q1

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Colgate announced on Thursday that North American net sales rose 5.5% as new product launches, such as Colgate Optic White mouthwash, helped drive volume growth and market share gains in the United States.

North America, which accounts for 18% of company sales, posted a net sales increase of 5.5%. Organic sales also rose 5.5% during the quarter.

In the U.S., market share gains were seen in manual toothbrush, powered toothbrushes, mouthwash, body washes and fabric conditioners. In toothpaste, the company noted the success of Colgate Optic White and Colgate Optic White Dual Action toothpastes, which helped drive market share for the Optic White brand to 5.7% year to date, up 1.3 share points versus a year ago.

In manual toothbrushes, Colgate’s market share reached a record 37.1% year to date, up 0.3 share points versus a year ago, driven by the success of Colgate 360 Optic White, Colgate 360 Total Advanced Floss Tip bristles and Colgate Extra Clean manual toothbrushes, the company stated.

New product launches for the second quarter 2013 include Colgate Advanced Pro-Shield mouthwash, which is an addition to the Colgate Total oral care regimen. The launch will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign featuring television personality Kelly Ripa as the new spokesperson for the Colgate Total brand.

On a global basis, the company posted net sales of $4.32 billion, up 2.5% compared with the year-ago period. Organic sales grew 6%.

Net income and diluted earnings per share in the quarter were $593 million and $1.23, respectively. Excluding certain items, net income in the quarter totaled $626 million, an increase of 4% compared with the year-ago period, and diluted earnings per share were $1.32, an increase of 6%.

“Colgate’s global market share in toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes are both at record highs year to date. Colgate’s share of the global toothpaste market strengthened to 45.6% year to date, up 0.1 share points versus year ago. Our global leadership in manual toothbrushes also strengthened during the quarter with Colgate’s global market share in that category reaching 33.4% year to date, up 0.4 share points versus year ago,” said Ian Cook, chairman, president and CEO.

 

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Greenstone launches authorized generic painkiller

BY Alaric DeArment

PEAPACK, N.J. — Greenstone has launched an authorized generic painkiller, the company said.

Greenstone, the generics arm of Pfizer, announced the introduction of authorized generic oxaprozin caplets in the 600 mg strength. The drug is a version of Pfizer’s Daypro, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID.

Authorized generics are branded drugs sold under their generic names at a reduced price.

 

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Safeway misses analyst sales expectations, shares drop

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway shares dropped dramatically Thursday morning as the company reported $10 billion in sales for its first quarter 2013 ended March 23, which is essentially flat as compared with the first quarter of 2012. An identical-store sales increase of 1.5% (excluding fuel) was offset primarily by the disposition of Genuardi’s stores in 2012 and lower fuel sales in 2013. 

Analysts had been expecting comparable sales upward of 2%, lifting quarterly sales north of $10.2 billion. Wall Street reacted quickly, Safeway shares were selling down more than 17% to $23.40. However, over the past year Safeway stock is still up more than 10%, including Thursday’s dramatic drop. 

Safeway’s same-store sales were impacted positively by 40 basis points on account of a fiscal calendar shift, Burd said. Safeway’s fiscal year 2012 ended on Dec. 29, 2012 and did not capture all New Year’s holiday sales. Same-store sales are also negatively impacted by 90 basis points due to a shift to generic drugs.

Safeway’s guidance for 2013 remains unchanged at $2.25 to $2.45 earnings per diluted share. But that doesn’t include any sales bumps out of the company’s wellness program, which is expected to launch in the next three months, according to Safeway Chairman and CEO Steve Burd. 

Burd offered analysts a glimpse into that new wellness platform in March. 

So the future looks bright, Burd said in a conference call with analysts. The grocer’s Just 4 U loyalty program is growing at a clip of 20,000 new households per week, which will place the number of total loyalty-card users to more than 6 million by the end of the year. "Just for U usage continues to grow, and our partner fuel reward program is rolling out on schedule and resonating well with consumers," Burd said.

Safeway was able to reduce its debt load with the successful IPO last week of its Blackhawk Network Holdings, shares of which were selling for $24.32 in midday trading, down slightly 2.8%.  

Safeway invested $144.9 million in capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2013. For the year, Safeway expects to invest up to $1.1 billion in capital expenditures.

 

 

 

 

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