Clorox Co cleans up as US consumers stock up on bleach, charcoal

The company reported its strongest quarterly sales growth in more than two decades as US customers clean up and barbecue more.

Demand for disinfectants including bleach has surged amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic [File: Scott Eells/Bloomberg]

Clorox Co reported its strongest quarterly sales growth in more than 20 years on Monday and raised its full-year revenue forecast as coronavirus-driven hygiene needs escalated demand for everything from its disinfectants to water filters.

Americans are using more of Clorox’s Glad trash bags as they clean their homes more often and are installing water filtration devices and eating more vitamins and supplements to improve health and hygiene at home.

They are also grilling often, even on weekdays, as they cook more at home, helping Clorox double its sales of charcoal, the company’s new chief executive officer, Linda Rendle, told analysts on a call.

But this demand has also put some strains on the supply chain, with Rendle saying that the company is still struggling to meet the demand for its products.

“One thing that continues to keep me up at night [is] our ongoing focus to meet unprecedented demand for much of our portfolio,” Rendle, who took over as CEO in September, said on the call, adding that these capacity-constrained businesses would see a staggered recovery during the next two quarters.

This comes after the company warned in August that grocery shelves will not be fully stocked with its disinfecting wipes until next year, due to complexities in the supply chain.

Despite limitations in its supply chain, the company said it will not increase the prices of products during the pandemic, leveraging its cost-savings programme to keep prices low.

Clorox said it now expects full-year sales to rise 5 percent to 9 percent and earnings per share to grow between 5 percent and 8 percent.

The company’s shares, up 36 percent this year, were 3 percent higher in afternoon trading.

Source: Reuters