Sales: $2.6 billion for household, personal care and industrial and institutional products. Corporate sales: $5.5 billion for the year ended June 30, 2015.
Key Personnel: Benno Dorer, chief executive officer; James Foster, executive vice president, product supply, enterprise performance and IT; Stephen M. Robb, executive vice president, chief financial officer; Laura Stein, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate affairs; Nick Vlahos, executive vice president and chief operating officer, household, lifestyle and core global functions; Dawn Willoughby, executive vice president and chief operating officer, cleaning, international and professional products; Bill Bailey, senior vice president, corporate business development; Michael Costello, senior vice president, international division; Denise A. Garner, senior vice president, chief innovation officer; Matt Laszlo, senior vice president, chief customer officer; Kirsten Marriner, senior vice president, chief people officer; Eric Reynolds, senior vice president, chief marketing officer.
Major Products: Household—Clorox, Formula 409, Liquid-Plumr, Pine Sol and Green Works cleaning products; Personal care—Burt’s Bees.
New Products: Burt’s natural lipsticks and Burt’s Bees BB Creams; Clorox—Control Bleach Crystals and Control Bleach Packs, Power Gel, Cleaning Utensils, Scrub Singles; S.O.S Non-Scratch Scrubbers; Güd—Cleansing Wipes in Red Ruby Groovy, Orange Petalooza and Pearanormal Activity fragrance variants, and Mango Moonbreeze shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion.
Comments: Sales were flat for Clorox, which isn’t bad considering how some multinationals’ year went. But then, markets outside the US only account for 19% of corporate sales. Long-term estimates project the US business to grow 2-4% a year, with international sales increasing 5-7% annually.
By category, home care accounted for 17% of sales, followed by laundry (10%), I&I (5%) and Burt’s Bees (4%). Clorox management likes to point out that the company is well positioned with big-share brands in mid-sized categories; i.e., it holds the No. 1 or No. 2 position in most of its businesses, with brands like Clorox and Pine-Sol, not to mention Kingsford charcoal and Brita water filters. In fact, executives insist that Clorox is three times the size of its next branded competitor in the spaces in which it competes.
One aspect of Clorox’s 2020 strategic plan calls for category expansion via existing brands. Burt’s Bees is doing just that by entering the lip color and face care spaces to boost household penetration (up 14% last year).
For the nine months ended March 31, 2016, corporate sales rose 2% to nearly $4.1 billion. Household cleaning sales were up 1% to $1.3 billion. For the year, Clorox expects sales to grow 1-2%, with category sales up 1-2%, innovation adding 3 points and tough FX effects dragging results down by 3 points. Gross margin is expected to improve 150 basis points.
In May, Clorox completed its acquisition of Renew Life. The company paid $290 million (2.5x sales) for the No. 1 brand in probiotics and herbal cleansing products in the natural channel. It’s the latest example of Clorox’s strategy to grow in mid-sized, attractive categories. The company notes that the probiotic segment is growing 15% annually, two-thirds of US consumers experience digestive health issues and 50% of purchases are based on a doctor’s recommendation.
(To read more about how probiotics in general and the microbiome in particular are impacting the personal care space, read “We’re Surrounded!” on Happi.com.)