Colgate to Cut 6% of Jobs in Restructuring Program

Colgate-Palmolive Co., the world’s largest toothpaste maker, will cut its global workforce by 6 percent, or about 2,300 jobs, in a four-year restructuring program aimed at cutting costs amid slowing economies.

By 2016, the plan will result in charges of $1.1 billion to $1.25 billion before taxes, the New York-based company said today in a statement. The company currently has 38,600 employees.

Chief Executive Officer Ian Cook is working to boost profit by reducing structural costs, improving the supply chain and increasing the use of global data and analytic capabilities. North American companies, from Ford Motor Co. to Dow Chemical Co., have announced plans to cut 62,600 jobs at home and abroad since Sept. 1, the biggest two-month drop since the start of 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We are living in a fast-changing world with many challenges including slowing economies in many countries,” Cook said today in the statement.

Colgate fell 1.8 percent to $104.60 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 13 percent this year.

The restructuring is expected to save $365 million to $435 million annually by the fourth year, Colgate said.

The company said the plan will involve moving single-country subsidiaries into regional divisions and will focus on manufacturing and global warehouse networks to reduce costs.

European Sales

Last year, 18 percent of Colgate’s revenue came from North America, with 29 percent from Latin America and 21 percent from its Europe and South Pacific region.

Third-quarter sales fell 11 percent in Europe and the South Pacific and rose 2.5 percent in North America, Colgate said today.

Net income in the third quarter rose 1.7 percent to $654 million, or $1.36 a share, from $643 million, or $1.31, a year earlier, Colgate said. Excluding some items, profit was $1.38 a share, matching the average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Revenue fell 1.2 percent to $4.33 billion, trailing the $4.38 billion average of analysts’ estimates.

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