Church & Dwight Reports Strong First Quarter Sales
Church & Dwight Co., Inc. reported first quarter net income rose 11% to $62.6 million. Net sales jumped 5% to $580.9 million. Organic sales increased by approximately 6%, excluding the impact of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures.
“We are very pleased with our solid first quarter results particularly in this difficult economic environment,” said James R. Craigie, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our results reflect continued strong organic sales growth and exceptional gross and operating margin expansion. The organic sales growth was driven by strong consumer appeal for our high quality value-oriented products, carryover benefits of 2008 pricing actions, new products, and a significant increase in marketing spending, partially offset by soft sales in the Specialty Products Division. The improved gross margin reflects pricing, earlier than expected benefits from lower commodity costs, acquisition benefits relating to the acquired businesses from Coty, Inc. and cost reduction programs.”
Avon Sees 13% Drop in 1Q
Avon Products’ first quarter sales fell 13% to $2.2 billion. Beauty sales slipped 12%. Beauty units increased 2%, and units overall were flat with the prior-year quarter. Active representatives grew 7%.
On a category basis in the first quarter, Avon’s Beauty sales decreased 12%, but were up 5% in local currency. In terms of beauty category local-currency growth, color cosmetics, fragrance and personal care grew 10%, 9% and 8%, respectively, while skin care decreased 4%. Color cosmetics and personal care, which have lower relative price points compared with fragrance and skin care, benefited from new launches, such as Ultra Color Rich 24K Lipstick.
First-quarter 2009 expenses included costs associated with the company’s 2005 and 2009 restructuring programs of $5 million and $10 million, respectively. Operating profit dropped 43% to $168 million.
Clorox Sales Flat in 3Q
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%.
Estée Lauder Posts 10% Loss In Third Quarter Report
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. reported a 10% drop in net sales to $1.7 billion for its fiscal third quarter ended March 31, 2009. For the nine months ended March 31, 2009, Estée Lauder reported a 4% drop in net sales to $5.64 billion. For fiscal 2009, net sales are forecasted to drop 1-3%.
Profits Fall at Alberto Culver
Alberto Culver Co.’s second-quarter profits fell 3.3% to $28.1 million, as sales dropped 1.4% to $344.3 million. Gross margin fell to 50.3% from 53.3% a year ago.
“Our business continues to be sound, with great brands, an experienced and focused leadership team and a strong balance sheet that allows us to invest both behind our equities and our infrastructure,” said V. James Marino, president and chief executive officer. “Our long-term strategy of growth and margin expansion remains intact, and our team is committed to continuing to deliver results and creating value for our shareholders.”
For the first half, profits fell 0.3% to $59.7 million, while revenue rose 0.7% to $697.2 million.
Net Sales Slip at Physicians Formula
Physicians Formula’s net sales for the first quarter of 2009 dropped almost 50% to $20.2 million, compared to the same period in 2008.
Ingrid Jackel, company chairwoman and chief executive officer, stated, “During the first quarter, we experienced a significant disconnect between our reported net sales and our retail sell-through due to the current environment. Sell-through of Physicians Formula at our retailer partners only experienced a mid single-digit decline in the first quarter of 2009. As anticipated, our results during the first quarter were adversely impacted by drastic changes in the retail environment compared to last year.