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The Clorox Management Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

In our U.S. business, our all-outlet retail market share reached a record high. We were up about 0.5 share point over the past 52 weeks through a 28.1% share. Moreover, we gained or held share in every one of our U.S. categories. The share results are particularly encouraging given recent price increases on almost every U.S. brand.

The other good news is that our U.S. categories are getting healthier as pricing takes hold and the economy recovers. Overall category consumption on an all-outlet basis was up about 0.5 point for the past 52 weeks. This is the first consumption growth we have seen in our U.S. categories in the past 3 years.

Our Cleaning segment delivered a very strong quarter, with volume up 5% and sales up 7% behind volume gains and pricing. Home Care volume increased behind double-digit increases in our portfolio of Clorox-branded cleaning products, including strong gains in Clorox Disinfecting Wipes due to strong merchandising and solid innovation like our new bleach, our new Clorox Bleach Foaming Spray.

Gains in Home Care were partially offset by volume declines at Pine-Sol due to a substantial price increase driven by escalating pine oil costs. Our overall Home Care market share was up almost 1 full point, achieving a record all-out market share in the past 52 weeks.

Our Laundry business saw a volume decline, primarily due to the impact of price increases taken last August of the Clorox Bleach and Clorox 2 products. Dollar share was flat for the past 52 weeks, and the category is stabilizing after a couple years of significant decline. This month, we will begin the rollout of our new concentrated Clorox Bleach. Initial reaction has been very positive, and we expect a smooth transition and strong merchandising support.

On our Professional Products business, we saw another strong quarter. Volume was up by over 50%, driven by the recent acquisitions and a double-digit increase on the base business.

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