In the Cleaning category, which includes Laundry, Home Care and Professional Products, sales decreased 1%, reflecting decreases in Laundry and Professional Products, partially offset by growth in Home Care. Segment sales were impacted by a significantly milder cold and flu season compared to a year ago, which resulted in lower sales in the Wipes category and in Professional Products, as well as by heightened competitive activity, also affecting the Wipes category.
"Overall, we executed well against our key strategic priorities in the third quarter, including robust innovation, industry-leading consumer engagement online and cost-justified pricing," says Clorox chair and CEO Benno Dorer. "Importantly, we were pleased to deliver a second straight quarter of gross margin expansion.
"We are also aggressively addressing heightened competitive activity in our Bags and Wraps and Wipes categories, which contributed to third-quarter results that were more mixed after a strong first half. Long term, we remain focused on investing in our strategy and in the health of our brands."