Colgate sales fall for 2nd straight quarter on strong dollar

Colgate-Palmolive's Colgate Total brand toothpaste
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Colgate-Palmolive's Colgate Total brand toothpaste

Colgate-Palmolive, the world's largest toothpaste maker by market share, reported its second straight fall in quarterly sales, hurt by weak demand in markets such as Brazil and Europe and a strong dollar.

The company also cut its 2015 earnings per share growth forecast to "low single-digit" from "mid to high single-digit."

U.S. companies with big international operations have been hit by the rise in the dollar over the past nearly nine months.

After hitting a six-and-a-half-month low in May, the dollar has surged about 20 percent against a basket of major currencies, making overseas sales denominated in other currencies less valuable in dollar terms.

A stronger dollar also makes U.S.-made products more expensive for consumers in other currencies and lowers demand.

Colgate, which controls nearly 45 percent of the global toothpaste market, said net sales in Latin America, its biggest market by sales, fell 6 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Rival Procter & Gamble Co said on Tuesday that it no longer expected sales and core earnings to grow this year, blaming a strong dollar for its disappointing results and forecast.

Colgate's organic sales, excluding the impact of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestments, rose 6 percent.

Total revenue fell 3.2 percent to $4.22 billion.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $628 million, or 68 cents per share, from $564 million, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Colgate earned 76 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 74 cents per share and revenue of $4.22 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Colgate's shares were up about 2.5 percent at $66.84 in light premarket trading.