Church & Dwight Co., Princeton, NJ, maker of Arm & Hammer products, reported profit rose 40% for the first quarter ended April 2. The results were helped by the acquisition of Unilever oral care brands (Close-Up, Aim and Pepsodent) and the buyout of the Armkel joint venture with Kelso & Co.
The company said it earned $29.9 million, compared with $20.9 million a year earlier. Sales rose to $296.0 million from $248.3 million a year earlier, as expected. Sales for the latest quarter include $33 million from the former Unilever Group oral care brands.
At the product line level, the company said sales of household deodorizing, laundry and specialty products were higher, while personal care sales, excluding the acquired products, were lower. At the brand and product level, sales of Arm & Hammer Super Scoo cat litter, Arm & Hammer and Xtra liquid laundry detergent, and certain specialty chemicals and animal nutrition products, were all particularly strong. Early in the quarter, the Church & Dwight also launched Arm & Hammer Enamel Care toothpaste, said to be the company's most important oral care initiative in several years.
"With this strong start, we feel positive about the outlook for the year," commented Robert A. Davies, III, chairman and chief executive officer, Church & Dwight.