In the U.S., new product launches including Colgate Optic White and Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpastes and the relaunch of Colgate Total toothpaste are strengthening Colgate’s leadership in toothpaste, with its share of that market reaching 35.9% year to date, up 0.6 share points versus year ago. Colgate’s strength in manual toothbrushes also continued, driven by the success of Colgate 360° Optic White, Colgate 360° Sensitive Pro-Relief and Colgate 360° Surround manual toothbrushes.
Successful new products in the U.S. in other categories include Softsoap brand Pomegranate and Mango Infusions and Softsoap brand Coconut Scrub body washes and Palmolive Soft Touch with Vitamin E dish liquid. New introductions reaching store shelves now include Speed Stick Power deodorants, Irish Spring Clear & Fresh Skin body wash and Palmolive Fresh Sponge dish liquid.
Latin America (28% of Company Sales)
Latin America Net sales rose 6.5% during fourth quarter 2011 with unit volume increasing 3.0%. Excluding divested businesses, Latin America unit volume grew 6.0%. Volume gains were led by Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. Higher pricing added 8.5% and foreign exchange was negative 5.0%. Organic sales for Latin America increased 14.5% during the quarter.Operating profit in Latin America increased 14% in fourth quarter 2011, driven by strong sales growth, to $364 million, or 30.2% of Net sales. This increase in Operating profit as a percentage of Net sales was due to a decrease in Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of Net sales and a decrease in Other (income) expense, net, partially offset by a decrease in Gross profit as a percentage of Net sales. The decrease in Gross profit as a percentage of Net sales was driven by higher raw and packaging material costs reflecting global commodity cost increases, which were partially offset by higher pricing and cost savings from the Company’s funding-the-growth initiatives. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of Net sales decreased primarily due to lower advertising as a percentage of Net sales. Other (income) expense decreased as a percentage of Net sales as fourth quarter of 2010 included a charge of $36 million related to the remeasurement of the Venezuelan balance sheet as a result of the currency devaluation in Venezuela.
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