Clorox posts higher sales as consumers stock up on disinfectants

The household-supplies producer posted fiscal fourth-quarter sales of $1.98B, up from $1.63B last year

Clorox Co. reported a 21.9% gain in sales for the latest quarter as consumers stocked up on cleaning goods and personal-care items due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it said on Monday that it will promote Linda Rendle, the company’s president, to chief executive in September.

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The Oakland, Calif., household-supplies producer posted fiscal fourth-quarter sales of $1.98 billion, up from $1.63 billion in the comparable period last year. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting $1.87 billion.

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Sales in Clorox’s health and wellness segment, which includes its namesake disinfecting products as well as vitamins, rose 33%. Sales in its household segment, which includes wraps and containers under the Glad brand, grew 17%. Its lifestyle segment, which sells Brita water filters, Burt’s Bees personal-care products and other items, saw its sales rising 16%. Sales outside the U.S. rose 12%, Clorox said.

The company posted net income of $310 million, or $2.41 a share, compared with $241 million, or $1.88 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts were looking for $1.99 a share.

Ms. Rendle, 42 years old, will succeed Benno Dorer, effective Sept. 14. Mr. Dorer, 56, has been chief executive since November 2014 and will remain as chairman, Clorox said. He said he will turn to philanthropic activities in youth, sustainability and art.

Ms. Rendle previously served as the company’s executive vice president for cleaning, international, strategy and operations. She joined the company in 2003 and has held various leadership roles in strategy and operations. Before that, she worked in sales management for Procter & Gamble Co.

Clorox said it expects sales for fiscal 2021 to be flat to slightly up from the previous period, assuming continued demand for cleaning and disinfecting products, minimal disruptions to the supply chain and continuing pressure on consumers’ job security and discretionary spending amid the recession. The company expects a mid-single-digit decrease to mid-single-digit increase in full-year earnings per share, it said.

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Clorox has also struck partnerships with businesses that have been battered by the pandemic, such as United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.

On Friday, Colgate-Palmolive Co., the company that sells consumer goods such as Colgate toothpaste and Softsoap hand soap, reported a roughly 1% rise in sales for the latest quarter citing elevated demand for soap and cleaners during the pandemic.

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com