January 29, 2016 / 12:11 PM / 3 years ago

Colgate-Palmolive sales miss on strong dollar, weak LatAm demand

(Reuters) - Colgate-Palmolive Co (CL.N) reported lower-than-expected sales for the last quarter of 2015, hurt by a strong dollar and weak demand in Latin America.

Colgate toothpaste is pictured on sale at a grocery store in Pasadena, California January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The company, which gets more than three-fourths of its revenue from outside the United States, has been raising prices to counter the impact of the stronger dollar.

But that has taken a hit on volumes in regions such as Latin America, the company’s biggest market by sales.

The average value of the dollar rose 11.7 percent against a basket of currencies in the quarter, compared with a year earlier.

The company raised prices by 13 percent in Latin America in the three months ended Dec.31, pushing down volumes by 4 percent.

Total net sales fell 7.6 percent to $3.90 billion.

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $3.93 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company reported a loss of $458 million, or 51 cents per share, compared with a profit of $628 million, or 68 cents per share.

Colgate took a $1.08 billion charge in the quarter related to a change in the way it accounts for its business in Venezuela.

The company said it would no longer include the assets and liabilities of its Venezuelan operations in its balance sheet.

Venezuela’s crumbling economy has forced many major U.S. corporations with significant presence to either exit, or reduce their operations in the country.

Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila

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