COMPANY RESULTS Stepan reports higher 1Q 2007 sales and earnings Stepan Co has reported results for 1Q ended 31 Mar 2007. Net income for the quarter was $5.7 M (net income of $3 M for 1Q 2007). Net sales were $313.004 M for 1Q 2007 ($289.612 M in 1Q 2006). The 8% increase was due to higher sales volume (9%), partially offset by a 1% decline in average selling prices. The lower selling prices were due to higher sales of commodity surfactants to the consumer product market. For 1Q 2007: Surfactants sales were $236.476 M ($225.277 M in 1Q 2006); Polymers sales were $68.682 M ($57.892 M in 1Q 2006); and Speciality Products were $7.846 M ($6.443 M in 1Q 2006). Surfactants contributed a majority of the $2.5 million improvement in gross profit driven by a 10% increase in volume. North America generated most of the profit improvement with sales volume rising 12%, primarily in consumer products. Lower manufacturing costs also contributed to the improvement. Latin American surfactant earnings declined as a result of higher raw material costs. Press release from: Stepan Co, 22, West Frontage Road, Northfield, IL 60093, USA. Tel: +1 847 446 7500. Fax: +1 847 501 2100. Website: http://www.stepan.com (24 Apr 2007)
Akzo Nobel Chemicals 1Q 2007 – surfactants For its 1Q 2007, the Surfactants division of Akzo Nobel Chemicals has reported sales of €139 M (€138 M for its 1Q 2006). Revenues of Surfactants were 1% higher than the previous year, despite a negative currency impact of 4%. A clear volume increase in China, the launch of the Feixiang Chemicals joint venture [Focus on Surfactants, Oct 2006], and higher sales in agro and industrial applications (asphalt and mining) all contributed to growth. The company reports that plants are running at high capacity utilization levels. Operating income was ahead 6
S U R FAC TA N T S
of 1Q 2006 in spite of high raw material prices.
Colgate reports strong organic sales growth in 1Q 2007
Press release from: Akzo Nobel NV, Velperweg 76, PO Box 9300, 6800 SB Arnhem, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 26 366 4343. Fax: +31 26 366 4940. Website: http://www.akzonobel.com (24 Apr 2007)
For 1Q 2007, Colgate-Palmolive has posted a 12% rise in worldwide sales to $3.214 bn and unit volume growth of 8%, as reported. Global pricing increased 1.0%, and foreign exchange added 3.0%. The very strong top-line growth was supported by a 20% increase in worldwide advertising. Net income, as reported, was $486.6 M ($324.5 M in 1Q 2006). The company reports that its fouryear restructuring programme [Focus on Surfactants, Feb 2005] is ‘progressing on schedule’. The North American segment of Colgate-Palmolive (21% of company sales) has reported sales of $662.4 M ($617.6 M for its 1Q 2006) and operating profit of $152.2 M ($132.3 M). Positive growth was fuelled by new product sales (eg Softsoap brand Decorative Collection liquid hand soap, and Pure Cashmere moisturizing body wash and liquid hand soap; Irish Spring MoistureBlast bar soap; and Fabuloso multi-purpose spray cleaner) and market share gains. As reported, sales and unit volume grew 7.5% during the quarter. Excluding the divestiture of the Canadian bleach business, sales and unit volume grew 8.5%. In Latin America (25% of sales) sales as reported grew 14% to $790.3 M and operating profit increased 16% to a record $245.3 M. Every market in the region contributed to very strong volume gains. The company commands 75% of the region’s toothpaste market. Europe/South Pacific sales (24% of total) rose 13% in 1Q 2007 to $781.6 M, with foreign exchange adding 10%. Operating profit increased 17% to $178.7 M. Palmolive Pure Cashmere and BodYogurt body washes, Palmolive shower gel for men and Ajax Professional bucket dilutable cleaner were among the recent product launches contributing to the gains. In Greater Asia/Africa (17% of total), sales rose 13.5 % to $548.5 M while operating profit increased 24% to $81.4 M. In other news, Reuben Mark retires as Colgate’s CEO on 1 Jul and is succeeded by Ian Cook.
P&G reports strong sales for 1Q 2007 The Procter & Gamble Co (P&G) announced strong top and bottomline growth for the Jan-Mar quarter of 2007. Net sales were up 8% to $18.69 bn, driven by double-digit sales growth in Fabric & Home Care, Baby & Family Care, and Health Care, and high-single digit growth in Beauty and Blades & Razors. Organic sales and volume both increased 6% for the quarter as foreign exchange contributed 2% to sales. Net earnings grew 14% to $2.51 bn behind a 9% rise in operating profit. Beauty net sales increased 8% during 1Q 2007 to $5.62 bn while net earnings grew 9%. Skin Care, Hair Care and Prestige fragrances each reported double-digit sales growth. Oral Care volume increased mid-single digits driven by double-digit developing region growth and a three point increase in US toothpaste market share. Fabric Care and Home Care net sales increased 12% during 1Q 2007 to $4.74 bn, driving a 21% boost in net earnings to $685 M. Tide, Ariel and Downy were among the brands delivering double-digit volume growth. Baby Care and Family Care net sales increased 10% to $3.27 bn during the quarter. Subsequently, P&G has realigned its business units, effective 1 Jul. There will now be three global business units – Beauty Care, Global Health & Well Being, and Household Care – all reporting to Susan E Arnold who has been elected president – global business units. The company has also established the role of chief operating officer to oversee all global operations and functions along with overall responsibility for the go-to-market operational effort. Robert A McDonald has been elected to this position. P&G’s business has nearly doubled since 2000 according to CEO A Lafley. Press release from: The Procter & Gamble Co, 1 or 2, Procter & Gamble Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45201, USA. Tel: +1 513 983 1100. Website: http://www.pg.com (1 & 14 May 2007)
Press release from: Colgate-Palmolive Co, 300 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022, USA. Tel: +1 212 310 2000. Website: http://www.colgate.com (25 Apr 2007)