Colgate-Palmolive Co unveiled a cost-cutting plan on Thursday that included cutting its workforce by the end of 2016 by about 6 percent.

The toothpaste maker, which has some 38,600 employees, also posted a higher quarterly profit that met analysts' expectations.

Third-quarter profit was $654 million, or $1.36 per share, compared with a profit of $643 million, or $1.31 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings of $1.38 per share matched analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. During the quarter, Colgate spent more on advertising to entice shoppers as it raised prices.

Pricing was up 3 percent and volume rose 2 percent.

Sales fell 1 percent to $4.33 billion. Organic sales, which strip out the impact of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures, rose 5 percent.

Colgate still expects 2012 earnings per share to grow at a double-digit rate, excluding the impact of currency fluctuations.

The restructuring program should lead to after-tax charges of $775 million to $875 million, starting with $90 million to $100 million of charges coming in the fourth quarter 2012.

Colgate said it should save $275 million to $325 million after tax annually by the fourth year of the plan.