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Colgate Shares Slide After Fourth-Quarter Earnings Fall

Colgate-Palmolive has reported sales of $3,892 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing an increase of 4.5% year on year.

However, company shares dropped on Friday as this growth fell below analysts expectations and profit margins decreased.

Operating profit fell to $924 million, compared to $955 million in fourth quarter of 2016, while global unit volume increased 3%, pricing decreased 1%, and organic sales were up 2%.

"We finished the year with an acceleration of our top-line growth worldwide," said Ian Cook, chairman, president and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive.

"This growth was driven by healthy volume increases across Latin America, North America and Europe."

Quarterly Performance

Sales were up across all regions, including North America (+1%), Latin America (+4%), Europe (+13%), Asia Pacific (+6%), and Africa/Eurasia (+2%).

However, operating profit declined in all areas except Europe, which represents 16% of company sales.

In spite this performance, the company noted that Colgate continued its leadership of the global toothpaste sector, with 43.3% market share in the most recent quarter.

"As we look ahead to 2018, while uncertainty in global markets and category growth worldwide remain challenging, we are maintaining our heightened focus on brand building and increased productivity," added Cook.

"Based on current spot rates, we expect a mid-single-digit net sales increase and low to mid-single-digit organic sales growth in 2018, with improvement in organic sales growth versus the second half of 2017."

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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