Despite reporting fiscal first-quarter sales of $1.92 billion and seeing a 104% surge in net profit to $415 million, or an adjusted $3.22 per share, Clorox CEO Linda Rendle said on the company's earnings call that she remains worried about the company's ability to meet demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
“One thing that continues to keep me up at night [is] our ongoing focus to meet unprecedented demand for much of our portfolio,” Rendle said. "We're certainly encouraged by the progress we're making in a number of businesses, including having Clorox bleach mostly back on store shelves. But there's more work to be done."
Rendle's comment came after Clorox previously warned in August that grocery shelves will not be fully stocked with its disinfecting wipes until next year, as the company's supply chain faces COVID-19 related capacity constraints. While the company has made significant progress in ramping up its production, executives said on the call that the company has still not reached a point where it can fully meet elevated demand.
Rendle noted that Clorox's ability to maximize its supply of products continues to be a "top priority," and that the company is focusing on new ways to manufacture products faster. In addition, she said the company plans to make significant investments in third party supply sources to export products to retailers and consumers in a timely manner.
Despite the limitations, Clorox promised it will not hike prices of its products during the pandemic, saying that it would leverage its cost-savings program to keep prices low.
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Sales rose by double digits in eight of 10 of Clorox's business segments. The health and wellness unit, which includes cleaning products, saw sales spike 28% to $813 million and made up 42% of all revenue. The household unit was the fastest growing with sales increasing by 39% as the grilling business more than doubled.
In addition, Clorox raised its full-year 2021 adjusted earnings per share growth forecast to between 5% and 8%, or $7.70 to $7.95.