Clorox bucks brand pressure trend

These are supposed to be tough times for brands, but don’t tell that to Clorox.

Leading consumer goods company Clorox reported strong volume growth across its branded portfolio, bucking the industry trend that has seen private label and tertiary brands create growth headwinds for established players. Clorox said it had 8 percent volume growth and sales increase 5 percent to $1.4 billion during its second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016. It was the company’s second consecutive quarter in which volume growth exceeded 8 percent.

"This is the highest volume increase we've seen in nearly 10 years, with gains in each of our segments in the U.S. and International," said Chairman and CEO Benno Dorer. "As we look to the remainder of fiscal year 2017, incremental investment behind our brands remains a priority, with promising innovation launching across our portfolio. Importantly, our core business remains strong. We're confident in our strategy and staying the course."

Some of the company’s strongest growth came in its core businesses. For example, in the household segment consisting of categories such as bags, wraps, charcoal, cat litter and digestive health, volumes increased 11 percent and sales increased 12 percent. In the cleaning segment, consisting of laundry, home care and professional products, volume increased 10 percent while sales grew 5 percent.

Slower growth was evident in the lifestyle segment consisting of dressings, sauces, water filtration and natural personal care, where volume growth was 5 percent and sales growth was 4 percent.

"We feel good about our strong sales results to date and look forward to continued topline momentum in the second half of the fiscal year supported by our upcoming new product launches," said Chief Financial Officer Steve Robb. "Moreover, we're confident in our long-term plans for margin improvement, including in our International business, which is making good progress in driving productivity improvements."

Clorox is best known for its namesake brand as well as Pine-Sol, Liquid Plumr, Fresh Step, Glad, Kingsford, Hidden Valley, Brita, Burt's Bees and RenewLife.