"We're very pleased that halfway through the fiscal year, we're on track to achieve our sales outlook," says chairman and CEO Benno Dorer. "Looking at the balance of the fiscal year, we're staying the course with our 2020 Strategy, with continued investments to deliver superior consumer value behind robust innovation that differentiates our products and brands, and digital marketing that
In the Cleaning Segment (Laundry, Home Care, Professional Products), sales increased 1%, with a 16% pretax earnings increase. Segment sales growth was driven largely by gains in Home Care, reflecting higher shipments of Clorox disinfecting wipes behind continued strength in the club channel as well as the launch of new Scentiva branded products. These factors were partially offset by decreases in the Professional Products business, primarily from the sale of the Aplicare business in August 2017 as well as unfavorable mix within the segment. Pretax earnings increased, driven largely by the comparison to a $21 million noncash impairment charge related to the Aplicare business in the year-ago quarter. Pretax earnings also reflect the benefits of cost savings and higher sales, which were more than offset by increased manufacturing and logistics costs, including strategic investments in the company's supply chain; higher commodity costs and increased advertising and sales promotion investments.