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Colgate-Palmolive Co CL
Q2 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 07/26/2012

Operator: Good day and welcome to today's Colgate-Palmolive Company Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded and is being simulcast live at www.colgatepalmolive.com. Just as a reminder, there will be a slight delay before the question-and-answer session begins due to the web simulcast.

At this time, for opening remarks, I would like to turn the call over to the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations, Ms. Bina Thompson. Please go ahead, ma’am.

Bina H. Thompson - SVP, IR: Good morning and welcome to our second quarter 2012 earnings release conference call. With me this morning are Ian Cook, Chairman, President and CEO; Dennis Hickey, CFO; Victoria Dolan, Corporate Controller; and Elaine Paik, Treasurer.

This conference call will include forward-looking statements. These statements are made on the basis of our views and assumptions as of this time and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual events or results may differ materially from these statements.

For information about certain factors that could cause such differences, investors should consult our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on our website, including the information set forth under the captions, 'Risk Factors and Cautionary Statements on Forward-Looking Statements.'

We will discuss organic sales growth, excluding foreign exchange, acquisitions, and divestitures. We will also discuss gross profit, operating profit, net income and earnings per share excluding the impact of the one-time items described in the press release A full reconciliation with the corresponding GAAP measures is included in the press release and is posted on the Investor Relations section of our website at www.colgatepalmolive.com.

We are very pleased with our second quarter results particularly in an increasingly unpredictable global economy. Of particular note is our organic sales growth which was positive in every division and up double-digit in the emerging markets accelerating from the first quarter's strong pace. The total Company organic sales growth at 8% reflected a good balance between volume of 4.5% and price of 3.5%.

Our market shares are strong around the world and our categories are growing. Even in the developed markets, we see category growth albeit modest. I really believe we have the right strategies and plans in place for 2012 and beyond. As you know, one of our four strategic initiatives is innovation for growth, and that focus has been one of the key drivers of our top line momentum. You'll hear more about recent launches as well as new products to come when we go through the divisions.

Gross margin increased 50 basis points and continues to be higher than the fourth quarter of last year. The increase was somewhat less than previously anticipated due primarily to higher foreign exchange transaction costs and the rapidly strengthening dollar during the quarter. However, we expect gross margin to increase sequentially in the third and fourth quarter and to be up within our targeted range of 75 to 125 basis points for the full year.

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