New York: Consumer products maker Colgate-Palmolive Co. said on Thursday that higher selling prices and cost cutting helped first-quarter profit rise 9%, despite the stronger dollar and a drop in European sales.
The company, known for its namesake toothpaste and dishwashing soap, said quarterly profit rose to $507.9 million, or 97 cents per share, from $466.5 million, or 86 cents per share, a year ago. That was a penny higher than the average forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Revenue fell 6% to $3.5 billion from $3.71 billion. Analysts had expected $3.6 billion.
“Our cost-cutting and efficiency programs as well as increased pricing more than offset the impact during the quarter of higher raw and packaging material costs worldwide and the strengthening dollar,” CEO Ian Cook said in a statement.
The weakest geographic region was Europe and the South Pacific, where sales fell 20% hurt by volume declines in France, Britain, Italy and other countries, as well as the stronger dollar and higher costs.
In the US, sales rose 3% as Colgate-Palmolive said new products such as Colgate Max Fresh with Mouthwash Beads helped the company gain market share. In the current quarter, the company plans to fully distribute and market Colgate Wisp mini-brush and Colgate Sensitive Enamel Protect toothpaste.
In Latin America, sales fell 4%, with the best results in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina.
The company said commodity and oil prices are set to ease as the year goes on and added that it is “comfortable” with analyst earnings expectations for earnings of $1.04 per share in the second quarter and $4.21 per share for the year.