Below is a look at the company's 2019 highlights, recent acquisitions, best-selling brands and latest innovations.
Beauty (Personal Care) Sales
- Ian Cook, executive chairman
- Noel Wallace, president and chief executive officer
- Mukul Deoras, president, Colgate-Asia Pacific
- Jean-Luc Fischer, president, Colgate-Africa/Eurasia
- Vinod Nambiar, division president
- Panagiotis Tsourapas, president, Colgate-Latin America
- Prabha Parameswaran, president, Colgate-Europe
- Juan Pablo Zamorano, president, Colgate-North America
- Irish Spring deodorants
- Softsoap and Irish Spring body washes
- Protex soap, Sanex cleansers
- Gard anti-dandruff shampoo with conditioner
- Softsoap hand soap, Afta men’s toiletries
- Softsoap Luminous Oil Body Wash
- Macadamia Oil & Peony
- Laboratoires Filorga Cosmétiques skin care products (acquisition)
Hamstrung by “difficult macroeconomic conditions, foreign exchange volatility and slower category growth in key markets around the world,” fiscal 2018 was a challenging year for Colgate-Palmolive. Net sales increased just 0.5% and organic sales (net sales excluding foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestments) also only grew 0.5%. With a firm hold on the top market share spot worldwide for toothpaste, oral care products gave the company its small overall boost and represented 47% of the company’s net sales, followed by personal care (20%) home care (18%) and pet nutrition (15%).
Organic sales in 2018 were flat, as increases in Oral Care and Home Care organic sales were canceled out by a decline in Personal Care organic sales. The decrease in Personal Care organic sales was due to declines in organic sales in the bar soap and underarm protection categories, which were partially offset by organic sales growth in the shower gel category.
Liquid hand soap and home care product sales contributed to North American sales growing 7.5% to more than $3.3 billion–an impressive rebound considering the market’s 2% decline in 2017. European sales also rose 4.5% (more than $2.5 billion) thanks to toothpaste/oral care volume gains in France, the UK and Italy.
Conversely, Latin America sales tumbled 7.5% to $3.6 billion in 2018, this after an increase of 6.5% in 2017. Toothpaste and bar soap sales proved to be the culprit but were partially offset by gains in manual toothbrush sales and an increase in home care product sales. Asia-Pacific sales also fell 1.5% to about $2.7 billion, due to declines in greater China and Thailand, which were partially balanced by volume gains in India and the Philippines. Sales in Africa/Eurasia also fell 1.5% to $967 million on declines in Russia, Turkey and South Africa, which were partially offset by gains in the Gulf States, where an increase in oral care sales was outpaced in declines in personal care.
News of Note in 2019
Noel Wallace, formerly president and COO, took over the helm of CEO in April, replacing Ian Cook, who had been CEO since 2005. Cook, whose tenure with Colgate-Palmolive dates back to 1976, is now the company’s executive chairman.
In June, the company made a major skincare acquisition, purchasing Laboratoires Filorga Cosmétiques, a globally distributed, French anti-aging skincare company, for $1.69 billion. Wallace said the acquisition gives Colgate “entry into the fast-growing and sizable travel retail channel, particularly in Asia.”
After joining TerraCycle’s Loop initiative to eliminate single use packaging in May, in June, Colgate debuted a first-of-its kind recyclable toothpaste tube. A product of five years of R&D, the tube will make its U.S. debut under the Tom’s of Maine banner in 2020. The company plans to fully convert to recyclable tubes by 2025, when all of its products will be in 100% recyclable packaging.
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