Weak dollar helps Colgate Palmolive results


Colgate-Palmolive, the maker of products ranging from soap to dog food, said today second quarter profits rose 10 per cent as new products and the weaker dollar boosted sales.

The improved results continued a trend for Colgate, which has been helped by a pipeline of new products, including Simply White tooth-whitening gel. Higher sales and margins have allowed the company to increase advertising.

The New York-based maker of Colgate toothpaste, Irish Spring soap and a host of other products posted profit of $359.8 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with $327.0 million, or 55 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales rose 7 per cent to $2.46 billion. Most of Colgate's sales come from outside North America, and the weak dollar boosted sales in Asia and Europe as sales in local currencies were worth more when translated to dollars.

In North America, second-quarter sales rose 7.5 per cent and profit rose 14 per cent. In Europe, profit rose 29 per cent on an 18 per cent increase in sales. In Asia and Africa, sales rose 11.5 per cent and profit rose 21 per cent.

In Latin America, where weak local currencies hurt sales, sales fell 7.5 per cent and operating profit fell 11 per cent.

Colgate shares were down 30 cents at $56 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. During the second quarter the shares rose 6.5 per cent, while shares of rival Procter & Gamble were little changed.