"I'm very pleased with the results we're reporting today, the highlight being we delivered our second consecutive quarter of 8% volume growth. This is the highest volume increase we've seen in nearly 10 years, with gains in each of our segments in the U.S. and international," said chairman and CEO Benno Dorer.
In its cleaning segment, which includes laundry, home care and professional products, Clorox recorded 10% volume growth and a 3% gain in sales for the second quarter. Segment volume growth was driven largely by gains in home care, with another quarter of record shipments of Clorox disinfecting wipes behind expanded club-channel distribution as well as record shipments across a number of other Clorox-branded products, including toilet bowl cleaners. Professional products also contributed to segment volume growth, reflecting gains across cleaning brands. These factors were partially offset by volume decreases in laundry, primarily driven by lower shipments of Clorox bleach due to category softness. The variance between volume and sales was driven primarily by unfavorable mix due to expanded disinfecting wipes distribution in the club channel and higher trade promotion investments. The decrease in pretax earnings was driven by the $21 million noncash charge related to the Aplicare business, partially offset by cost savings.
The firm’s lifestyle sector, which includes Clorox’s natural personal care business, saw sales rise 4% with 5% volume growth. Segment volume growth was driven primarily by gains in natural personal care behind innovation in Burt's Bees lip care and color products.
"We feel good about our strong sales results to date and look forward to continued topline momentum in the second half of the fiscal year supported by our upcoming new product launches," said CFO Steve Robb. "Moreover, we're confident in our long-term plans for margin improvement, including in our International business, which is making good progress in driving productivity improvements."