Sales: $13.1 billion
Sales: $13.1 billion for oral care, personal care and home care products. Corporate sales: $15.5 billion.
Key Personnel: Ian Cook, executive chairman; Noel Wallace, president and chief executive officer; P. Justin Skala, executive vice president, chief growth and strategy officer; Henning Jakobsen, chief financial officer; Jennifer M. Daniels, chief legal officer and secretary; Michael A. Corbo, chief supply chain officer; Mukul Deoras, president, Colgate-Asia Pacific; Jean-Luc Fischer, president, Colgate-Africa/Eurasia; John J. Huston, senior vice president, chief of staff; John Kooyman, chief marketing officer; Al Lee, chief ethics and compliance officer; Daniel B. Marsili, chief human resources officer; Vinod Nambiar, division president; Panagiotis Tsourapas, president, Colgate-Latin America; Patricia Verduin, chief technology officer; Joseph M. Bertolini, vice president, global finance; Mike Crowe, chief information officer; Elaine Paik, vice president and corporate treasurer; Prabha Parameswaran, president, Colgate-Europe; Philip Shotts, vice president and controller; Juan Pablo Zamorano, president, Colgate-North America.
Major Products: Oral care—Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide Whitening, Plus, Total, Optic White, Enamel Health, 360°, Kids, Sensitive, MaxFresh, 2in1, Sparkling White, Tartar Protection with Whitening, Triple Action, Ultrabrite, Wave, Wisp, Mouth Sore Rinse; Peroxyl Mouth Sore Rinse, Elmex, Meridol and Sorriso oral care products, Gel-Kam Preventative Treatment Gel, Tom’s of Maine; Personal care—Irish Spring deodorants; Softsoap and Irish Spring body washes; Protex soap, Sanex cleansers; Gard anti-dandruff shampoo with conditioner; Speed Stick and Lady Speed Stick antiperspirants and deodorants; Softsoap hand soap; Irish Spring and Softsoap bar soaps; Tahiti; Tender Care, Afta men’s toiletries. Dishwashing—Palmolive Ultra Strength, Antibacterial, Oxy Pure Degreaser, Pure & Clear, Fusion Clean, Soft Touch, Lavender and Lime, Eco; Hard surface—Axion, Fabuloso, Murphy Original Formula, Orange Oil Spray, Soft Wipes, Squirt & Mop, Pinho Sol; Laundry—Bonus, Brite, Express Power, Fleecy detergents, Fluffy, Cuddly, Soupline and Sta-soft fabric conditioner.
New Products: Total Whole Mouth Health.
Comments: Corporate sales rose less than 1% last year and net sales of oral, personal care and home care products were flat, dragged down slightly by sales of bar soap and underarm protection products. Oral care sales were up due to gains in toothpaste. The company reported that its share of the global toothpaste market fell 1.3 share points, but still dominated with a 42.0% market share. Home care sales rose on higher sales of liquid cleaner and fabric softener sales. By category, oral care accounted for 47% of corporate sales; personal care, 20%; and home care, 18%. The remaining 15% of sales came from pet nutrition.
Sales in North America rebounded last year, rising 7.5% to more than $3.3 billion after declining 2% in 2017. Colgate credited this to increases in toothpaste and toothbrush, liquid hand soap, liquid cleaner and fabric softener sales.
Colgate stumbled in one of its key regions, as sales in Latin America fell 7.5% to $3.6 billion in 2018, after increasing 6.5% in 2017. The company blamed declines in toothpaste and bar soap sales, which were partially offset by gains in manual toothbrush sales and an increase in home care sales, especially liquid cleaner, hand dish and fabric softener.
Sales in Europe rose 4.5% to over $2.5 billion, helped by volume gains in France, the UK and Italy. Leading the way was oral care, which was driven by organic sales growth in the toothpaste category.
Asia-Pacific sales fell 1.5% to about $2.7 billion, due to declines in greater China and Thailand, which were partially offset by volume gains in India and the Philippines.
Finally, sales in Africa/Eurasia fell 1.5% to $967 million on declines in Russia, Turkey and South Africa, which were partially offset by gains in the Gulf States. An increase in oral care sales was outpaced in declines in personal care.
The declines continued into 2019, as Colgate said Q1 sales fell 3% to just below $3.9 billion, due to forex effects. Sales in North America rose 3%. In contrast, Latin American sales fell 4.5%; European sales fell 7%; Asia-Pacific sales declined 8%; and Africa/Eurasia sales dropped 6%.
There was a changing of the guard at Colgate-Palmolive this year. In April, Noel Wallace was named president and chief executive officer, replacing Ian Cook, who is now executive chairman. Wallace joined the company in 1987 and progressed through a number of global positions, most recently serving as president and chief operating officer. Prior to that, Wallace was chief operating officer, global innovation and growth and Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Cook joined Colgate in 1976 and progressed through a series of senior management roles around the world. He was promoted to president and chief operating officer in 2005.
In new product news, Colgate says its new TotalSF toothpaste offers a range of benefits including teeth whitening, fresh breath, cavity-fighting, enamel protection, plaque elimination and gingivitis and tartar control. Plus, it’s great for sensitive teeth. But according to online reviews from users, the new formula has left a bad taste, literally, in users’ mouths.
Colgate-Palmolive has an ambitious sustainability program in place, including its high-profile Save Water campaign which, since 2016, has urged consumers to shut off the water while they brush their teeth. Some 70% of Americans who were aware of the Save Water campaign said it influenced their personal actions with regard to saving water, according to a YouGov survey fielded for Colgate. Further, 58% of those influenced reported turning off the faucet more often while brushing their teeth after hearing the campaign’s message.
Globally, the turn-off-the-faucet campaign can lead to a potential reduction of 50 billion gallons of water per year, said Colgate. Since water and wastewater treatment systems are energy intensive, every drop of water saved means less energy used. The projected global water savings comes with an additional benefit of approximately two million metric tons of greenhouse gas saved.
Finally, Colgate-Palmolive expects to complete its Global Growth and Efficiency Program at the end of the year, according to the company. The initiatives include expanding commercial hubs, extending shared business services, streamlining global functions and optimizing global supply chain and facilities.