Colgate Profit Rises on Emerging Markets, Cost Cuts

Colgate-Palmolive posted higher quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by strength in emerging markets, improved margins and savings from cost-cutting measures.

Colgate toothpaste.
Colgate toothpaste.

The maker of Colgate toothpaste, Mennen deodorant and Hill's Science Diet pet food said profit was $420.1 million, or 77 cents a share, for the third quarter, compared with $344.1 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring costs and pension charges, earnings were 86 cents a share. Analysts, on average, were expecting 85 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Colgate is about three years into a four-year restructuring program aimed at focusing its business on oral care, personal care and pet food, with savings helping boost spending on marketing.

Its third-quarter sales rose 12 percent to $3.53 billion.

Sales in Latin America rose 16 percent, while sales in its Asia-and Africa region rose 18.5 percent.

Gross profit margin, excluding restructuring charges, increased to 57.3 percent from 56.5 percent.

Colgate said it expects gross profit margin, excluding restructuring charges, to be up within its targeted range of 0.75 to 1.25 percentage points for this year and next year.

The company said it has "strong confidence" that it will report double-digit earnings per share growth for the rest of 2007 and 2008.

Colgate shares closed Monday at $74.26 on the New York Stock Exchange.