Colgate-Palmolive second-quarter net up


Consumer products maker Colgate-Palmolive said today its second-quarter net income rose 9.6 per cent as higher margins offset the effects of weak foreign currencies that led to flat sales.

The maker of Colgate toothpaste and Palmolive dishwashing liquid and Hill's Science Diet pet food posted net income of $287.2 million, or 47 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with $261.9 million, or 42 cents, a year earlier.

Analysts forecast earnings of 47 cents to 48 cents a share, according to market research firm Thomson Financial/First Call, down from their expectations of 49 cents to 50 cents in early June as the economic situation in some Latin American countries worsened.

Revenues were about flat at $2.33 billion and would have been up 5 per cent without currency weakness in regions such as Latin America and Europe.

In North America, which accounts for 25 per cent of sales, unit volume rose 4 per cent, and sales increased 3 per cent. In Latin America, which accounts for 26 per cent of sales, the company had volume gains of 4 per cent, excluding divested businesses, and sales fell 1 per cent.

Earlier this month, Colgate chairman and chief executive Mr Reuben Mark said the company expected operating profit in Latin America to be up in the second quarter and for all 2001, despite currency problems in Argentina and other parts of the region.

Operating profit in the region rose 14 per cent for the second quarter.