Top Companies Report

7. Ecolab

July 2, 2014

St. Paul, MN

Sales: $6.3 billion for industrial and institutional cleaning products. Corporate sales: $13.3 billion. Net income: $973 million.

Key Personnel: Douglas M. Baker Jr., chairman and chief executive officer; Thomas Handley, president and chief operating officer; Martha Goldberg Aronson, executive vice president and president, global healthcare; Christophe Beck, executive vice president, president, international regions; Larry Berger, executive vice president and chief technology officer.

Major Products: Cleaning and sanitizing products and services for the industrial and institutional markets.

New Products: Hill-Rom hand hygiene compliance system, Advantis FC cleaning program, SaniSave cleaner-sanitizer, Kay QSR Managed Water filtration program, Whiteout Power Foam.

Comments: Oil, oil everywhere…but water, still we drink. Okay, with apologizes to Samuel Coleridge, that’s been the recent strategy at Ecolab, which is making a big play in oil recovery and water management, while remaining the leader in the global I&I market. The strategy’s working, too, as corporate sales rose 12% last year and net income increased 38%. The emphasis on energy was apparent with 2013 acquisitions of Champion Technologies and Masters Chemicals. Ecolab went on to leverage its antimicrobial know-how from its food and beverage unit to treat unconventional wastewater in an environmentally responsible manner. Institutional sales increased 2%, as lodging posted modest gains and foodservice foot traffic was soft. On a regional basis, Latin America posed double-digit gains, North America sales were up solidly and sales in Asia Pacific rose, as well. The only weakness was in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Ecolab’s pest elimination sales improved 5%, led by gains in food and beverage, healthcare and foodservice.

For the first quarter 2014, sales increased 16% to $3.3 billion. Global industrial sales 3% to $1.1 billion. Institutional sales increased 3% to $993 million.