Colgate-Palmolive Earnings Call INSIGHTS: Category Consumer Dynamics, Latin America on Fire

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On Thursday, Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Category Consumer Dynamics

Nik Modi – UBS: Just Ian, would love your thoughts, I mean the top line was phenomenal. I’m sure share gains have to do with a lot of that. Can you kind of parse out what’s going on in the category just sequentially and obviously a lot of talk about consumer slowdown globally, et cetera, et cetera, just curious what some of the category consumer dynamics were and how much you think the share gains really contributed to the top line effort this quarter?

A Closer Look: Colgate-Palmolive Company Earnings Cheat Sheet>>

Ian M. Cook – Chairman, President and CEO: As Bina closed in here summary remarks, we do believe that it is the four strategic initiatives we have; the innovation that flows from them and the quality of our integrated marketing programs that is driving the top line growth of the Company. Obviously it is a blend between market share and category growth. You probably recall that about 53% of that business mix today is in the emerging markets and as we have said before the pace of growth in our categories in those markets is high single-digits and we continue to see that pace of growth sustained through the second quarter. As we commented on the last call, obviously category growth in Europe is extremely modest, very low single-digits, in some cases flat, but as we’ve also said before, that’s not a new phenomenon, that’s built into our plans and we’re actually quite pleased with the volume and organic and sequentially improving pricing in Europe and the share gains behind it. Here in the U.S., as Bina said, we have outpaced the also modest low single-digit category growth in the United States, continuing to build the market share as Bina commented and it is a combination of all of those factors that is driving the organic growth of the Company, and it is that which gives us the confidence to say that we stand by our objective of 6% to 7% organic growth rate for the full year of 2012.

Latin America on Fire

Dara Mohsenian – Morgan Stanley: Ian, I guess following up on that question, I was looking for a bit more granularity in Latin America specifically where you saw a very strong top line acceleration despite slightly more difficult comparison. So, can you give us a run down on specifically in Latin America what drove the acceleration down there and your thoughts on the balance of the year and the sustainability of that?

Ian M. Cook – Chairman, President and CEO: Yes. Again we were very pleased. I remember there was some questioning when we talked about the first quarter on Latin America whether we could continue at the pace particularly given the tough comparisons second quarter on. Again as I think being commented it is largely to do with our innovation stream and the consumer’s reaction to that and to the marketing that is bringing those products to the consumer whether it’s Optic White, whether it’s Sensitive Pro Relief where we now lead in half of the Latin countries, whether it’s that continued share progress on toothbrushes with leadership in Mexico, the next objective, consistent with our 6% to 7% organic growth for the total Company for the year. As we have said before we see double-digit organic growth for Latin America over this year as well.

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