Top Companies Report

34. WD40 Company

July 10, 2013

San Diego, CA

Sales: $343 million for the year ended August 2012.

Key Personnel: Garry O. Ridge, president and chief executive officer; Jay  Rembolt, chief financial officer, treasurer and VP, finance; Michael J. Irwin, executive vice president, strategic development; Graham P. Milner, executive vice president, global development and chief branding officer; Geoffrey J. Holdsworth, managing director, Asia Pacific; William B. Noble, managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa; Michael L. Freeman, division president, The Americas; Mike Irwin, managing partner of WD-40 Bike Company; Tim Lesmeister, vice president of marketing.

Major Products: Maintenance, home care and cleaning products sold under brands including WD-40, 3-In-One Oil, Blue Works, X-14, 2000 Flushes, Carpet Fresh, No Vac, Spot Shot, 1001, Lava and Solvol.

New Products: WD-40 Bike WD-40 Specialist Dirt & Dust Resistant Dry Lube, Machine & Engine Degreaser and Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray.

Comments: WD-40 Company likes to say that it lives “under the sink, in the garage, and in the toolboxes of the world.” Its flagship WD-40 brand is sold in 187 countries worldwide, and all told, WD-40 Company has a portfolio of 11 brands that also include household cleaning staples like Spot Shot, 2000 Flushes and Carpet Fresh. The firm counted 347 employees during fiscal year 2012; sales per employee were $1.0 million and net income per employee was $0.1 million during that time which, company executives said, shows just how lean WD-40 is.

For its fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012, multi-purpose maintenance products sales, which include the WD-40 multi-use product, 3-In-One, Blue Works and the WD-40 Specialist product lines, were $286.5 million, up 3%. Homecare and cleaning products sales, which includes all other brands, were $56.3 million, down 2%.

The mixed performance has continued. In the second quarter of FY13, multi-purpose maintenance products sales posted a 6% gain compared to the prior year fiscal quarter, however, homecare and cleaning products sales fell a staggering 23%.

Upon release of those figures in early April, WD-40 said that the “US homecare and cleaning products are considered harvest brands providing healthy profit returns to the company and are becoming a smaller part of the business…”

The WD-40 Specialist product line, which was launched in 2012, was expanded into additional countries in the first half of fiscal year 2013. During the second quarter FY2013, the company also launched three additional products to the range.

Last year, the company rolled out WD-40 Bike, a subsidiary business unit focused exclusively on cycling-specific maintenance products. The initial WD-40 Bike range included lubricants as well as a heavy-duty degreaser, a foaming bike wash and a frame protectant. The line is sold in bicycle retailers across the US.

Where else is WD-40 planning to take its powerful brand name? The company plans to rollout WD-40 Specialist Motor Bike product line in the UK this year, and has other plans for the US market.

“We are pleased with the performance of the WD-40 Specialist product line and what it does to bring the power of the WD-40 shield to new products that meet the needs of our end-users,” Ridge said in April. “We continue to expand the WD-40 Specialist line with new offerings and in new categories, and later this year we will introduce a new line of products in the US in the lawn and landscape arena.”
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