“We again delivered top tier performance within the consumer packaged goods industry including full year organic sales growth of 3.2%, double digit international organic sales growth, adjusted gross margin expansion of 120 basis points and adjusted earnings growth of 9.3%,” said Matthew Farrell, CEO. “We overcame the year-long cyclical weakness in our Specialty Products business to deliver on our commitment to shareholders. Finally, we concluded the year with a strong fourth quarter.”
Reported net sales increased $22.4 million or 2.6% to $896.0. Organic sales growth of 2.7% exceeded the company’s outlook of 1 to 2%. Global consumer reported sales grew 3.2% (3.5% organic) driven by 4.1% volume growth. Specialty products reported sales declined 4.3% (-5.2% organic).
Consumer domestic reported net sales were $695.4 million, a 3.4% increase. Organic sales increased by 2.7% primarily due to A&H liquid and unit dose laundry detergent, A&H cat litter, Batiste dry shampoo, vitamins and Oxiclean additives, partially offset by a decline in sales of A&H powder laundry detergent and Spinbrush toothbrushes. Volume growth contributed 3.5% to organic sales partially offset by a decrease of 0.8% attributable to product mix and pricing.
Arm & Hammer unit dose laundry detergent grew at twice the category consumption growth for the third consecutive quarter while also increasing share, said Church & Dwight. Sales in unmeasured channels continue to grow, especially online retailers which recorded its highest quarterly growth of 2016. In particular, online vitamin and litter sales more than doubled versus last year. Growth in non-measured channels accounted for approximately 300 basis points of organic growth.
C&D’s consumer international segment reported net sales were $127.6 million, up 2.1%. Organic sales increased by 7.4%, driven largely by Batiste, Oxiclean and A&H baking soda in the export business and Sterimar, A&H liquid laundry detergent and baking soda in Mexico. Volume increased 7.2%, while favorable product mix and pricing contributed 0.2%.
Specialty products reported net sales were $73.0 million, a 4.3% decrease. Organic sales decreased 5.2% due to lower volumes in the specialty chemical sector of the business, according to the company.