The Clorox Company reported sales equal to the year-ago quarter, strong gross margin expansion and significant earnings growth for its third quarter, which ended March 31, 2009. Third-quarter sales were flat at $1.35 billion, on top of 9% sales growth in the year-ago quarter.
“I’m very happy with our performance for the quarter, especially given continued pressure on the consumer,” said chairman and chief executive officer Don Knauss. “We benefited from moderating input costs, continued strong cost savings and improved productivity. We delivered our highest year-over-year quarterly earnings growth in more than three years and our first year-over-year gross margin expansion in seven quarters. These results reflect simply outstanding execution of our strategic plans by Clorox people worldwide in an extremely challenging economic environment.”
Clorox raised its fiscal 2009 EPS outlook to 3-4% sales growth, versus its previous outlook of 3-5%. This slightly lower range reflects higher expected foreign currency losses. For fiscal 2010, Clorox’s initial financial outlook is for sales growth in the range of 1-2%.