Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Company profits surprise despite weak sales

April 30, 2009

Check out consumer-related companies Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, OfficeMax, Domino’s Pizza and Sally Beauty Holdings all posting better-than-expected quarterly profits despite weak consumer demand.

USA/P&G and Colgate surprised Wall Street on Thursday, as their efforts to hike prices and cut costs helped offset weaker demand in the recession.  Both companies, which are rolling out new products to entice thrifty consumers back to stores, forecast sales growth for the year, excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures.

Domino’s Pizza reported a better-than-expected profit, boosted by the performance of its domestic franchisees.
                                                                                                                                                             “Our domestic franchisees outperformed our Team USA stores in same store sales for the first time in many quarters. This is a … a strong indication that our domestic franchise system is starting to regain some positive sales momentum,” Domino’s Chief Executive David Brandon said.
                                                                                                                                                          Domino’s was not the only company to see bright spots.

Furniture maker and retailer Ethan Allen said the economic environment remains difficult, but that the “retail environment seems to show some indications of improvement.”

And beauty supply company Sally Beauty Holdings reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on higher same-store sales and its “recession-resistant nature.”

Not everyone beat the Street.  Supermarket operator Safeway posted a lower quarterly profit that was below analysts’ expectations, sending its shares down.  Still, it wasn’t all bad news for long-term investors.  Safeway raised its dividend by 21 percent.

Also in the basket:

US citizens take extra precautions over swine flu

Kellogg 1st-qtr profit rises

Revlon posts Q1 profit as expenses fall

(Reuters photo)

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