Personal care giant Colgate-Palmolive is generally associated with toothpaste and soap, but in fact its diversified portfolio also includes petfood, deodorants, fabric softeners, household cleaners and detergents. Yet oral care products are Colgate's biggest segment by far, contributing sales of around $7.3bn in 2018. The group is the worldwide market leader in this segment with around 42% share of the global toothpaste market in 2018, more than its three largest competitors combined. Colgate (together with sister brands including GABA, Meridol, Elmex, Sorriso, Kolynos, Dentagard and Tom's of Maine) is the #1 toothpaste brand in more than 170 countries, and also the clear leader in manual toothbrushes. In some countries, its share is even more dominant, as high as 72% in Brazil and over 80% in Mexico. Palmolive soap is the third largest soap brand, now covering a growing range of haircare products as well as soaps. Sister brands include Softsoap, Irish Spring and Sanex, and these are partnered by deodorants including Speed Stick, Mennen and Cashmere Bouquet. The group acquired US professional skincare brands PCA Skin and Elta MD in 2018, followed by Filorga of France in 2019. Household care includes Palmolive washing-up liquids, tablets and wipes and Ajax cleaners (also known as Axion in some countries), Murphy Oil Soap and a range of international washing-up and dishwashing products under the Fabuloso, Pinho Sol, Dona Blanca, Klorix and other brand names. The group has steadily wound down its presence in laundry detergents since 2003, selling its brands to regional competitors including P&G and Henkel, but it continues to market Soupline, Suavitel and Softlan fabric conditioners and softeners in several global markets, including the US. Perhaps the most incongruous member of its overall portfolio is Hill's Science Diet, the world's 4th largest pet food business. Unsually for an American company, Colgate-Palmolive is truly international, deriving around 75% of its sales outside the US. Its biggest region, in fact, is not the domestic market but Latin America where it generates almost a quarter of revenues. The group total for 2018 was $15.5bn, with net income of $2.4bn. Noel Wallace succeeded Ian Cook as global CEO in 2019.
Capsule checked 2nd October 2019
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Jul 2019: New Colgate-Palmolive CEO Noel Wallace signed off on his first major acquisition for the group, with a deal to acquire French company Laboratoires Filorga Cosmetiques for almost €1.5bn. The purchase is Colgate's first move into premium skincare. Filorga is a premium anti-aging brand focused primarily on facial care. Originally founded in France in 1978, the brand is now sold in over 60 countries with its largest markets being France, Italy, Spain and Greater China.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Feb 2019: Seven months on from his elevation to group president & COO, Noel Wallace's promotion to CEO was announced by Colgate-Palmolive. He will succeed Ian Cook at the beginning of April; Cook moves to executive chairman for up to a year before retiring.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Jul 2018: There were two senior promotions at Colgate-Palmolive. Noel Wallace moves up to group president & COO, becoming the effective heir-in-waiting to CEO Ian Cook. Justin Skala becomes EVP, chief growth & strategy officer with oversight of multiple functions including marketing.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Feb 2018: Colgate-Palmolive reported a weak close to the year, with organic growth below analysts' expectations, and intense pressure on pricing, especially in North America. That prompted a sharp markdown in the company's share price. Full year revenues were up almost 2% to $15.45bn. However an even steeper rise in expenses and a higher tax charge caused attributable earnings to fall 8% to $2.02bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd May 2017: According to the industry rumour machine, Colgate-Palmolive is the latest corporate target in the cross-hairs of predatory investment group 3G Capital, owners of Kraft Heinz, Burger King and Tim Hortons and other brands. Best-known for its market-leading oral care business, Colgate also has a solid position in personal cleaning (Palmolive) and in pet foods (Hill's Science Diet), and retains a small collection of household care brands, mostly in international markets. 3G is far from the only potential bidder: P&G, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson would be unlikely to let the business go without an offer of their own. Colgate-Palmolive CEO Ian Cook has reportedly signalled he would be open to a deal at $100 per share, or a total valuation of $89bn. Before the rumours emerged, Colgate was trading at under $72, or a total value of around $64bn.
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