“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 continue to help us offset the impact of increases in raw and packaging material costs and the transaction impact of negative foreign exchange, and achieve gross margin expansion in 2012 within our targeted range of 75 to 125 basis points.“Overall, we continue to expect diluted earnings per share for 2012 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%.” Global Growth and Efficiency Program Separately, the Company announced a four-year Global Growth and Efficiency Program (the “2012 Restructuring Program”) for sustained growth. The program’s initiatives are expected to help Colgate ensure continued solid worldwide growth in unit volume, organic sales and earnings per share and enhance its global leadership positions in its core businesses. This four-year Global Growth and Efficiency Program is expected to produce significant benefits in the Company’s long-term business performance. The major objectives of the program include:
- Becoming even stronger on the ground through the continued evolution and expansion of proven global and regional commercial capabilities, which have already been successfully implemented in a number of the Company’s operations around the world.
- Simplifying and standardizing how work gets done by increasing technology enabled collaboration and taking advantage of global data and analytic capabilities, leading to smarter and faster decisions.
- Reducing structural costs to continue to increase the Company’s gross and operating profit.
- Building on Colgate’s current position of strength to enhance its leading market share positions worldwide and ensure sustained sales and earnings growth.