Colgate-Palmolive has reported a 19% increase in quarterly profits, and says it’s partially due to price increases (but also greater volume sales and a weak dollar). [Reuters]


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  1. zero_o says:

    I can understand maintaining profits during tough times but using a economic slow down as a opportunity to dramatically increase profits is pretty horrible

  2. @zero_o: Yeah, how dare they convince us to buy more. Shame on us for making them profit! Also, shame on the rest of the world for buying their products. Just b/c a company offers a product for sale, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. I think we should all stop brushing our teeth. That will cut into their profits!

  3. The_Gas_Man says:

    @Git Em SteveDave is a poor substitute for LindsayJoy:
    Right on! Time for a windfall profits tax on soap and toothpaste companies!

  4. @The_Gas_Man: I always question this “windfall profit” phrase. If a company makes $.06 profit on a unit of merch, and they sell 1 million units, that’s 60,000.00 profit. Now if that same company makes $.05 profit on the same unit a year later, but sells 6 million, that’s 300,000. Did they gouge, no. Did they increase their profits? On unit, no, overall, yes. I find it hard to fault a company who sells a product that people buy when their profits increase b/c they sell more. Can ANYONE honestly tell me that we aren’t consuming (both the USA and the world as a whole) more fuel than we were previously?

  5. OnceWasCool says:

    hmmmm, looks like a shrink ray is profitable! :)

  6. ObtuseGoose says:

    Shocker! You make your products smaller and charge the same price and you make more money. Who knew?! I’m sure if gas drops back down to $3 per gallon they’ll bring back the larger size packaging at no additional cost. Right?

  7. coren says:

    How does a weak dollar increase profits? Increased price, duh. Selling more, again, duh. But the dollar going down the craphole?

  8. anajay says:

    colgate toothpaste is on sale at rite aid this week for .99/ea. coupon in the paper .50/off. the deals are out there if you pay attention.

    you can always buy aquafresh.

  9. @ObtuseGoose: Now correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t these companies get their raw materials from other companies? If their suppliers increase their cost, doesn’t that increase the cost of the goods? As I said before, has their profit per unit gone up, or have they just been selling more in the new markets as well as in the US, like the article said.

  10. @coren: Sales in other countries in their currencies, which are stronger than the dollar, will mean when the currencies are converted to dollars, it’s a higher amount.

  11. OnceWasCool says:

    To quote Steve Martin from the movie “The Jerk”…

    “It’s a profit deal” :)

  12. zero_o says:

    My issue is with companies that raise prices 50% and even though their cost has increased by 20% and then they blame the entire price increase on the economy

  13. Rachacha says:

    @coren: It may be partially due to the fact that in a down economy, people will generally cut back on “Big ticket items” and percieved luxuries or extravagance (i.e. Starbucks Coffee, cut down on trips to the spa or beauty salon etc.), however people still like to reward and pamper themselves, so they will buy more cosmetics and toilitries to pamper themselves. The logic being, I saved $50+ by not going to the beauty salon, so I can buy a $5 lipstick, or I stopped going to the spa, but I want to pamper myself and buy a tooth whitening product.

    I believe that there is a name for this (I don’t know what it is), but this trend has repeated itself time and time agan during down economies.

    While toothpaste and mouthwash use remain fairly constant from year to year regardless of the economy, the use of mini-luxuries like at home spa treatments, tooth whiteners and other (inexpensive) personal beautification products tend to increase when economies drop.

  14. The_Gas_Man says:

    @Git Em SteveDave is a poor substitute for LindsayJoy:
    I understood your sarcasm, but I think you missed mine. :-D

    Windfall profits taxes are absurd socialist policies designed to incite class warfare and punish successful business practices, inspired by liberals who don’t understand free market economics. Basically, I have the same problem with them that you do. :-P

  15. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I wonder if people are cutting back on more expensive organic/small-business/fancy products, like Tom’s of Maine toothpaste or Method cleaners, and going back to the plainer equivalents. That could account for some of the change.

  16. @The_Gas_Man: I got your sarcasm, but I also wanted to address Profit Windfall taxes, and my opinion of them. Sorry if I offended you.

  17. SeanOHara says:

    @coren: If the dollar is weak, that makes our exports relatively cheaper, which means foreigners can afford more.

  18. StockBroker says:

    Profits went us as a result of price increases they had….same goes for Kraft which reported increase profits today but decline in sales volume.

    In the near future, it will take a mortgage loan to afford groceries at the rate things are going up & up.

  19. atarisuicide says:

    Clearly our only option is to nationalize the toothpaste business!

  20. atarisuicide says:

    I actually love these threads. They come out 1 of 2 ways:

    1) Company loses money – “Bunch of multi-millionaire big wigs running their company into the ground. Fucking idiots.”

    2) Company makes money – “How dare they turn a profit on the backs of us consumers? Don’t they know how bad we are hurting right now?”

    As best I can tell, the only way to avoid the wrath of Consumerist readers is to keep profits exactly flat. Or just not report earnings, which unfortunately would get them in trouble with the much more important SEC.

  21. justbychance says:

    This kind of stuff is enough to drive you crazy. When you take this and combine it with the shrink ray, companies are making it from both sides.