Prices Up Due to Commodities Costs: Clorox CEO

If it seems you paid more for Clorox products between July and now, you're right.

Green Works
Source: Green Works
Green Works

CEO Donald Knauss told CNBC on Wednesday the company was faced with $140 million to $150 million more in commodities costs, and that meant raising prices on its household cleaners, bleach and other consumer products.

The higher prices, he told Closing Bell, have more than offset those higher commodities costs, half of them for the oil-based resins used in the company's Glad trash bags and other products.

"We are in a global marketplace," and demand by developing markets for resins prompted the spike in prices, he said.

Next year, he said, commodities prices won't be "anywhere near" what Clorox saw this year, more like $50 million to $60 million rather than $140 million to $150 million. So Clorox will be more selective in what it prices higher and by how much.

Earlier Wednesday, Clorox reported third-quarter net earnings down 13 percent on margin pressure and those higher commodities costs.

Clorox also reported fiscal 2013 guidance lower than expectations and a 50 percent drop in its international business. Knauss said the international costs came from the company's investments in technology overseas and problems in Venezuela.

But consumer demand is picking up in the U.S., he said, noting, "a year ago we saw categories decline 2 percent and they're now flattish, so we’re seeing some improvement."

The 8 percent sales growth in the U.S. is "the best we’ve seen. We feel very good about the strength of the brands despite the pricing we’re taking."

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