New York, NY
Sales: $13.1 billion
Sales: $13.1 billion for household and personal care products. Corporate sales: $15.3 billion. Net income: $1.9 billion.
Key Personnel: Ian M. Cook, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Michael J. Tangney, chief operating officer, Colgate-Europe, Greater Asia and Africa; Stephen C. Patrick, chief financial officer; Alecde Guillenchmidt, president, Colgate-Europe/South Pacific; Fabian Garcia, executive vice president and president, Colgate-Latin America and global sustainability; David R. Groener, vice president, global supply chain; Dennis J. Hickey, vice president and corporate controller; John J. Huston, vice president, office of the chairman; Daniel Marsili, senior vice president, global human resources; Ronald T. Martin, vice president, global social responsibility; Franck J. Moison, president, global marketing, supply chain and technology; Derrick E.M. Samuel, president, global technology; Justin Skala, president, Colgate-Greater Asia; Ed Toben, senior vice president, global information technology and business services; Greg Woodson, vice president, chief ethics and compliance officer.
Major Products: Oral care—Colgate, Elmex, Kolynos, Meridol, Sorriso, Tom’s of Maine and Ultra Brite toothpastes; Colgate, Elmex and Meridol toothbrushes; Colgate Total and Tom’s of Maine dental floss. Personal care—Irish Spring, Palmolive, Protex, Softsoap and Tom’s of Maine body wash and shower gel; Palmolive shampoos and conditioners; Afta and Skin Bracer; and Colgate, Palmolive and Tom’s of Maine shave cream. Home care—Ajax, Axion and Palmolive dishwashing; Ajax, Fabuloso, La Croix and Murphy Oil Soap cleaners and cleansers; Cold Power, Dynamo, Softlan, Soupline and Suavitel fabric care.
|Colgate rolled out Wisp in April.|
Comments: Corporate sales rose 11%, unit volume was up 4% and net income jumped 13%. Sales within the oral, personal and home care segments jumped 10.5%, driven by volume growth of 3.5%, price increases of 4.5% and positive foreign exchange impact of 2.5%. This was offset by the sale of the Latin American household bleach business and the 2008 divestment of the Senegal fabric care business.
By region, net sales in North America increased 5% in 2008 to $2.8 billion as a result of 1.5% volume growth and net selling price increases of 3.5%. Products contributing to growth in oral care included Colgate Total Advanced Clean, Colgate Total Advanced Whitening and Colgate Max Fresh toothpastes, Colgate 360°, Colgate 360° Sensitive and Colgate 360° Deep Clean manual toothbrushes and Colgate 360° Sonic Power battery toothbrush.
Products contributing to growth in other categories included Irish Spring Moisture Blast and Irish Spring Reviving Mint body wash, Palmolive Pure & Clear dish liquid and Softsoap Body Butter Coconut Scrub moisturizing body wash.
Net sales in Latin America increased 17% to just over $4 billion on 6% volume growth, net selling price increases of 9.5% and 1.5% positive impact of foreign exchange. The sale of the Latin American household bleach business reduced 2008 sales growth by 0.5%. Organic sales grew 16% in 2008. Volume gains were led by Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina. Products contributing to growth in oral care included Colgate Total Professional Clean, Colgate Total Professional Sensitive and Colgate Max White toothpastes, Colgate 360°, Colgate 360° Sensitive, Colgate 360° Deep Clean and Colgate Max Fresh manual toothbrushes and Colgate Plax Whitening and Colgate Plax Ice mouthwashes. Products contributing to growth in other categories included Palmolive bar soap and shower gel with ingredients from the Amazon, Lady Speed Stick Aloe Defense multi-form deodorants, Palmolive Caprice shampoo and Suavitel Magic Moments fabric conditioner.
Net sales in Europe/South Pacific increased 6% to more than $3.5 billion on 0.5% volume growth and a 5.5% positive impact of foreign exchange. Organic sales grew 0.5% in 2008. Volume gains in the UK, Denmark, Austria, Greece, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Adria and Australia more than offset volume declines in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Products contributing to growth in oral care included Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate Max White, Colgate Total andColgate Sensitive Enamel Protect toothpastes, Colgate 360°, Colgate 360° Sensitive, Colgate 360° Deep Clean and Colgate Max Fresh manual toothbrushes, Colgate 360° Sonic Power battery toothbrush and Colgate Plax Whitening mouth rinse.
Net sales in Greater Asia/Africa increased 14% to $2.66 billion on 7% volume growth, an increase in net selling prices of 5.5% and a 1.5% positive impact of foreign exchange. The divestment of the Senegal fabric care business reduced 2008 sales growth by 0.5%. Organic sales grew 13% in 2008. Volume gains were led by India, Russia and the rest of the CIS countries, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Africa, and the Gulf States/Saudi Arabia region. Products driving oral care growth included Colgate Total Professional Clean, Colgate Max White, Colgate 360° Whole Mouth Clean and Darlie Salt White toothpastes, Colgate 360° Deep Clean and Colgate Max Fresh manual toothbrushes and Colgate Plax Overnight Herbal Sensations mouthwash.
For the first quarter of 2009, however, sales declined 5.5% to $3.5 billion and unit volume declined 0.5%. Gross profit margin, a key statistic to Colgate, increased to 57.5% in the first quarter. Ian Cook, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, put a positive spin on the quarterly results, noting that organic sales increased 8%. Furthermore, Colgate maintained its global leadership share in toothpaste (44.4%) and strengthened its leadership in manual toothbrushes, as its global market share reached a record 30.8%.
Oral Care That’s On-the-Go
In today’s fast-paced environment, most folks don’t have time to eat at their desks, let alone go out for a three-martini lunch; and brushing after meals away from home? Forget about it…until now. In April, Colgate rolled out Wisp, a portable, self-contained oral care device that lets consumers practice good oral hygiene—even when they can’t find a sink.
Wisp is a small, one-use toothbrush that contains a breath-freshening bead built right into the brush head. It enables the user to brush his teeth discreetly at his desk or while he’s on the move, whether on his way to work or walking through an airport. The Wisp handle even features a toothpick-like shape for consumers who want to give their teeth an extra bit of attention after eating.
“A lot of people rely on gums and mints to freshen their breath, but that’s just a quick fix,” explained Barry Reichgott, brand manager at Colgate, during a press event. “With Wisp, they don’t have to settle any more.”
The product includes several patent-pending features, including that encapsulated mint oil bead.
“The gelatin bead dissolves to release a cooling ingredient,” explained Alan V. Sorrentino, manager of technology, Colgate. “There are also patents on the product package.”
In today’s environmentally-conscious society, a one-use toothbrush may seem a bit extravagant, but in consumer tests, subjects never raised concerns about too much packaging. Maybe that’s because Wisp uses minimal packaging—there’s less waste than a disposable fork or knife, according to Colgate. The outer package contains recycled material.
A Wisp four-pack retails for $2.39—a price point that Colgate is confident will appeal to consumers facing an economic downturn. A 16-pack is $7.99.
Wisp is positioned strictly as a personal care item. It doesn’t contain ingredients such as fluoride, but Colgate is already filling its pipeline with new ideas for on-the-go oral care. In the future, will there be a Wisp with teeth whitening ingredients? Maybe. The Colgate executives wouldn’t say for sure.