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CHICAGO - Colgate-Palmolive Co. said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit rose 15 percent on its largest sales gain in more than five years, with new products like Simply White tooth whitener boosting results.
Colgate's global market share rose in several categories this year, including hand soap, body wash, fabric softeners and pet food.
Product introductions have been a driving force for Colgate and other manufacturers in the consumer sector, where tough competition in areas like battery-powered toothbrushes have kept a lid on prices and required more spending on advertising and promotion.
Colgate, whose products also include its namesake toothpaste, Speed Stick deodorant and Hill's Science Diet pet food, said earnings rose to $340.9 million, or 59 cents a share, from $295.3 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier, after write-downs for its Argentina operations and the bankruptcy of discount retailer Kmart Corp.