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Emerging Markets Boost Colgate's Profit

Colgate-Palmolive on Thursday posted a higher quarterly profit, helped by cost cuts, increased advertising and growing market share for toothpaste, shower gel and toothbrushes.

Colgate toothpaste.
Colgate toothpaste.

The maker of Colgate toothpaste and a host of other household and personal-care products said fourth-quarter profit was $414.9 million, or 77 cents a share, compared with $401.2 million, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring charges, earnings were 91 cents a share. Analysts on average had forecast 89 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Colgate is in the latter stages of a four-year restructuring program aimed at focusing on oral care, personal care and pet food and is using the savings to help boost spending on marketing.

Sales rose 13.5 percent to $3.64 billion, with the weaker dollar, which boosts the dollar value of sales overseas, accounting for 6.5 percentage points of the sales increase.

Colgate said it expects double-digit growth in earnings per share in 2008. The company also set a new plan to repurchase 30 million shares over the next two years.