“The third quarter was a challenging one with category growth rates remaining soft in many markets and unfavorable movements in foreign exchange. Net sales decreased 3.0% and organic sales decreased 0.5%, primarily due to market volatility in Brazil and trade inventory reductions in China,” said Ian Cook, chairman and chief executive officer. “While the pricing environment remains difficult given competitive and retailer dynamics, we are pleased we delivered positive pricing this quarter, which partially offset higher commodity and logistics costs.”
Colgate’s leadership of the global toothpaste market continued during the quarter with C-P’s global market share at 41.9%. Global leadership in manual toothbrushes also continued with Colgate’s global market share in that category at 32.2%.
“As we look ahead, while uncertainty in global markets and category growth worldwide remain challenging, we are maintaining our heightened focus on brand building and increased productivity while accelerating our change efforts,” explained Cook. “Based on current spot rates, for the fourth quarter we expect a low-single-digit net sales decrease due to foreign exchange and low-single-digit organic sales growth.”
North America net sales increased 8.0% in third quarter 2018. Unit volume increased 7.5%, pricing increased 0.5% and foreign exchange was even with the year ago quarter. The previously disclosed professional skin care acquisitions contributed 6.0% to net sales and unit volume growth. Organic sales and organic unit volume for North America increased 2.0% and 1.5%, respectively. In the US, Colgate maintained leadership in the toothpaste category during the quarter with its market share at 34.7%. Successful products include Colgate Optic White Stain Fighter, Colgate Optic White Stain-Less White and Tom’s of Maine toothpastes. In manual toothbrushes, Colgate widened its brand market leadership in the US, with its market share in that category at 41.5%, supported by the success of Colgate Total 360° Advanced Optic White and Colgate Gum Health manual toothbrushes. Products succeeding in other categories include Softsoap Hydra Bliss body wash and liquid hand soap, Irish Spring Non-Stop Fresh body wash, Fabuloso Complete liquid cleaner and Suavitel Complete fabric conditioner.
Latin America net sales decreased 13.0% in third quarter 2018. Europe net sales decreased 0.5% and Asia Pacific net sales fell 7.5% during the period. Africa/Eurasia net sales decreased 6.0% during third quarter 2018.