“Looking ahead, we continue to be sharply focused on our aggressive funding-the-growth programs and our strategic worldwide pricing initiatives. We anticipate that the combined benefits from those programs will help us offset the transaction impact of negative foreign exchange and achieve gross margin expansion in 2012, allowing for even higher levels of advertising support behind a full pipeline of new products planned for launch in the balance of the year.
“Overall, we continue to expect diluted earnings per share for the year to grow at a double-digit rate, on a currency neutral basis. If average exchange rates in the balance of the year were to remain at current spot rates, currency translation would decrease full year diluted earnings per share growth by approximately 6-7%.”
At 11:00 a.m. ET today, Colgate will host a conference call to elaborate on second quarter results. To access this call as a webcast, please go to Colgate’s web site at http://www.colgatepalmolive.com.
The following are comments about divisional performance. See attached Geographic Sales Analysis and Segment Information schedules for additional information on divisional sales and operating profit.North America (18% of Company Sales) North America Net sales increased 2.0% in second quarter 2012. Unit volume decreased 0.5% with 3.0% higher pricing and 0.5% negative foreign exchange. Organic sales increased 2.5% during the quarter. Operating profit in North America increased 1% in the second quarter of 2012 to $196 million, while as a percentage of Net sales it decreased to 25.9%. The decrease in Operating profit as a percentage of Net sales was a result of an increase in Selling, general and administrative expenses, which was partially offset by an increase in Gross profit, both as a percentage of Net sales. This increase in Selling, general and administrative expenses was driven by higher advertising expenses as a percentage of Net sales. This increase in Gross profit was driven by cost savings from the Company’s funding-the-growth initiatives and higher pricing, partially offset by higher raw and packaging material costs.