Personal care appliance maker The Gillette Company reported record annual and fourth-quarter results. The company says results were driven by strong net sales growth of existing products, trade-up to premium products in both developed and developing countries, increased manufacturing efficiencies, and reduced overhead costs.
For the year, net sales increased 13 percent to U.S. $10.48 billion from $9.25 billion in 2003. Solid volume gains and trade-up were achieved across Gillette's core categories and in all regions, with significant increases in the developing markets of Latin America, Russia, and China.
Net income for the year increased 22 percent to $1.69 billion from $1.39 billion in 2003, Diluted net income per common share increased 24 percent to $1.68, up from $1.35 in 2003.
For the fourth quarter, net sales increased 19 percent to $3.11 billion, compared to $2.62 billion for the same period in 2003. Net income for the quarter was $415 million, up 13 percent from $368 million last year, or an increase of 14 percent to $0.41 cents, up from $0.36 cents last year in diluted net income per share.
"We made significant progress last year in all areas of our business," James M. Kilts, chairman, president, and CEO of Gillette, said. "We look forward to another very good year in 2005. It promises to again be our most active year for new products, with the ongoing international roll out of M3Power and several Oral Care products and the introduction of several major new trade-up products"
According to the company, net sales in the Blades and Razors segment increased 12 percent for the year to $4.33 billion from $3.87 billion in 2003. For the fourth quarter, net sales climbed 16 percent to $1.09 billion, up from $939 million for the same quarter last year. Net sales last year were dampened by advance shipments of a holiday razor program in the third quarter.
Personal Care net sales for the year grew 11 percent to $961 million from $864 million in 2003. For the fourth quarter, net sales increased 16 percent to $262 million from $225 million for the same period last year.
During 2004, the company repurchased 24.8 million shares, at a cost of $1.02 billion.
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