Colgate’s strong leadership in oral care throughout Latin America continued during the quarter with year to date toothpaste market share gains led by Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic. Strong sales of Colgate Luminous White, Colgate Total Pro Gum Health and Colgate Triple Action Extra Whitening toothpastes contributed to growth throughout the region. Colgate strengthened its leadership of the manual toothbrush market throughout the region, driven by strong sales of Colgate 360° Surround, Colgate 360° Luminous White and Colgate Triple Action manual toothbrushes. In mouthwash, Colgate’s year-to-date market share is at a record high in the region with gains driven by Colgate Luminous White mouthwash and the relaunch of Colgate Plax mouthwash.
Products in other categories contributing to market share gains included Protex Men and Palmolive Naturals Pomegranate bar soaps, Speed Stick Naturals & Protect deodorant and the relaunch of Suavitel Good Bye Ironing fabric conditioner.
Europe/South Pacific (20% of Company Sales)
Europe/South Pacific Net sales in fourth quarter 2012 were even with the year ago period. Unit volume increased 2.5% with 1.0% lower pricing and 1.5% negative foreign exchange. Volume gains in Australia, Denmark and France more than offset volume declines in Germany and Iberia. Organic sales for Europe/South Pacific increased 1.5%.Operating profit in Europe/South Pacific increased 14% in the fourth quarter of 2012 to $187 million, or 22.1% of Net sales. This increase in Operating profit was due to an increase in Gross profit and a decrease in Selling, general and administrative expenses, both as a percentage of Net sales. This increase in Gross profit was driven by savings from the Company’s funding-the-growth initiatives, which were partially offset by higher raw and packaging material costs. This decrease in Selling, general and administrative expenses was driven by lower overhead expenses. Colgate strengthened its oral care leadership in the Europe/South Pacific region with toothpaste share gains led by Germany, Austria, Norway, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria. Successful premium products driving share gains include Colgate Total Pro Gum Health, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Enamel Repair and Colgate Max White One toothpastes. In the manual toothbrush category, Colgate 360° Max White One and Colgate Total Pro Gum Health manual toothbrushes contributed to growth throughout the region.