Colgate-Palmolive Profit Rises, Price Rises Help

Colgate-Palmolive on Tuesday reported a 19 percent jump in quarterly profit as price increases and sales in emerging markets and North America helped offset soaring commodity costs and weakness in parts of Western Europe.

Colgate toothpaste.
Colgate toothpaste.

The weaker dollar also helped lift sales, contributing to earnings that exceeded analysts' estimates.

The maker of Colgate toothpaste, Hill's Science Diet pet food and Irish Spring soap said second-quarter profit rose to $493.8 million, or 92 cents a share, from $415.8 million, or 76 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring items, the company earned 98 cents a share. Analysts, on average, forecast 94 cents a share.

Like most consumer products makers, Colgate has faced soaring costs for energy, packaging materials and other commodities. The company has countered with price increases -- 4.5 percent on average in the quarter compared with a year earlier --and is also reaping the benefits of cost-cutting within the company.

Sales rose 16.5 percent to $3.96 billion. Analysts on average forecast $3.84 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

The weaker dollar accounted for 7 percentage points of the increase. Volume, a measure of goods sold that excludes currency and price fluctuations, rose 5 percent.

For the year, the company expects mid-teens earnings per share growth, with a double-digit increase again in 2009, Chief Executive Ian Cook said.