St. Paul, MN
Sales: $5.4 billion
Sales:$5.4 billion. Net income: $427 million.
Key Personnel:Douglas M. Baker Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer; Christophe Beck, senior vice president and general manager, institutional North America full service restaurants; Lawrence T. Bell, general counsel and secretary; Angela M. Busch, vice president, corporate development; James W. Chamberlain, senior vice president, institutional North America field sales; John J. Corkrean, vice president and treasurer; Tracy J. Crocker, senior vice president and general manager, institutional North America hospitality, healthcare and commercial business; Steven L. Fritze, chief financial officer; Robert K. Gifford, senior vice president, global supply chain; Thomas W. Handley, president, industrial & services, North America sector; Patricia A. Johnson, vice president, tax and public affairs; Phillip J. Mason, president, international sector; Michael L. Meyer, senior vice president, human resources; James A. Miller, president, institutional, North America sector; Julie L. Moore, vice president, marketing; Susan K. Nestegard, senior vice president, research, development and engineering and chief technical officer; Daniel J. Schmechel, senior vice president and controller; Thomas W. Schnack, executive vice president and general manager, food & beverage and water care North America; Robert P. Tabb, vice president and chief information officer; James H. White, president, EMEA sector.
Major Products:Institutional—warewashing, laundry, housekeeping, water filtration and conditioning and pool and spa management products; Food and beverage—cleaning and sanitizing products, equipment, systems and services; Pest elimination—commercial pest elimination and prevention services and grease elimination programs; Kay—cleaning and sanitizing products and services for restaurant and food industries; Professional—floor care, carpet care and personal care products for the commercial, industrial and health care markets.
New Products:Apex warewashing system, ZephAir fabric and room freshener, Clearly Soft fabric softener, Solid Sense solid detergent, Instant Solutions cleaner, Inspexx sanitation system, Octave antimicrobial agent, FabRX fabric dewrinkler.
Comments:Sales rose 12%, driven by good growth in the U.S., Asia Pacific and Latin American regions. Net income was up 16%. The U.S. accounted for 53% of sales. During the year, the company made several acquisitions, including: Green Harbour, a Hong Kong-based provider of pest elimination services; Eagle Environmental Systems, a Sydney-based provider of pest elimination and MicroTek Medical Holdings, an Alpharetta, GA-based maker of infection control products for healthcare facilities.
U.S. institutional sales rose 8%. The gains were attributed to the launch of Apex warewashing system, as well as the expansion of the 360° of Protection program.
Pest elimination sales rose 10% on gains in key markets, the rollout of a bedbug treatment protocol and expansion of the sales and service team.
Kay posted a 9% gain in sales, thanks to the introduction of Solid Sense solid detergent and Instant Solutions cleaning strips.
Sales within the healthcare division soared 47%, driven by the acquisition of Microtek Medical, a provider of infection prevention solutions with sales of $150 million. During the year, the division launched its Hand Hygiene Compliance monitoring program to help reduce healthcare-related infections.
GCS Service achieved sales growth of 8%, led by increased service sales and a strong sales team. Sales of the Preventive Maintenance program rose as customers looked for ways to reduce major equipment breakdowns.
Textile care sales jumped 12% on better execution by the division. The unit launched FabRX, a product designed to reduce garment wrinkling. At the same time, sales of PERformance, an energy-saving, low temperature oxygen bleach remained strong. Driven by growing concerns about food safety, the food and beverage unit reported a 9% gain in sales. The group launched the Inspexx sanitation system and the Octave sanitizer/disinfectant.
Water care sales rose modestly, as the focus was on infrastructure improvements. The unit expanded its offerings and posted good gains in the food and beverage water filtration segment. Vehicle care sales rose 7%, led by new product launches and new account gains. The unit launched the Blue Coral Solid Power program, which offers strong cleaning and convenient dispensing. The iStyles merchandising program helps car wash operators communicate program benefits. Also, vehicle care added new accounts in the full-service car wash segment and the convenience store segment.
Within the international business unit, sales in Europe/Middle East/Africa were up 5%. The division undertook several multi-year initiatives to improve growth, strengthen margins and streamline operations. Sales in Asia-Pacific were up 9%. Good gains were posted in Macau, where demand for hotel rooms is soaring. The company also expanded coverage throughout China and Indochina and started local operations in India. Sales in Canada rose 7% as the division expanded its distribution network, solidified its 360° value proposition and launched new products. Latin American sales were up 14%, on double-digit gains in every segment across the division. The unit expanded its water care and pest elimination businesses in Central America.
Acquisitions and sales gains marked the beginning of 2008 as well. In February, Ecolab acquired Ecovation, a Rochester, NY provider of renewable energy solutions and effluent management systems for the food and beverage industry.
For the first quarter of 2008, sales jumped 16% to $1.5 billion and net income was up 15% to nearly $103 million.
In June, for the second year in a row, Ecolab was named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies,” by Ethisphere magazine.
“We’re extremely honored to receive the award again this year,” said Douglas M. Baker Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ecolab. “We believe it is vitally important to our long term success to create an environment where our leadership, our associates and our culture are all grounded in ethical business practices. This enables us to grow our business in a way that is not only more profitable, but also more sustainable, and demonstrates our conviction that ethical practices contribute to both a company’s profits and society.”