Colgate-Palmolive sees boost in sales

NEW YORK — Colgate-Palmolive announced on Thursday that worldwide net sales rose 4.5% during the first quarter as net income and diluted earnings per share totaled $576 million and $1.16, respectively.

Worldwide net sales totaled about $4 billion during the first quarter, an increase of 4.5% compared with the year-ago period. Organic sales grew 1.5%.

"We are pleased to have met earnings expectations this quarter despite very sharp increases in material costs and an intense competitive environment globally," stated Ian Cook, chairman, president and CEO. "Colgate's global market shares in toothpastes and manual toothbrushes are both at record highs year-to-date. Colgate's share of the global toothpaste market strengthened to 44.7% year-to-date, up 0.6 share points versus [a] year ago. Our global leadership in manual toothbrushes also strengthened during the quarter, with Colgate's global market share in that category reaching 32.4% year-to-date, up one share point versus [a] year ago."

In North America, which accounts for 18% of company sales, net sales declined 4.5% in the first quarter, and organic sales declined 5%.

In the United States, new product launches, including Colgate Sensitive Multi-Protection and Colgate Max Clean SmartFoam toothpastes, and the relaunch of Colgate Total toothpaste are strengthening Colgate's leadership in toothpaste, the company stated. Its share of that market has reached 35.9% year-to-date, up 0.3 share points versus the year-ago period.

New products launched late in the first quarter and reaching store shelves now include Colgate Total Gum Defense toothpaste, Softsoap Body Butter Strawberry Smoother body wash and a new line of Irish Spring deodorants and antiperspirants.