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Colgate-Palmolive profit rises 22 percent

Colgate-Palmolive Co. said Tuesday that its third-quarter profit increased 2 percent due to strong sales across all regions and improved cost controls.

The New York-headquartered consumer products maker said its earnings climbed to $420.1 million (EUR291.59 million), or 77 cents per share, from $344.1 million (EUR238.84 million), or 63 cents per share, in the previous year. Excluding restructuring and other charges, earnings totaled $466.4 million (EUR323.73 million), or 86 cents per share, compared with $402.6 million (EUR279.45 million), or 73 cents per share, a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue rose 12 percent to $3.53 billion (EUR2.45 billion) from $3.14 billion (EUR2.18 billion) in the prior year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected net income of 85 cents per share on sales of $3.48 billion (EUR2.42 billion).

Its shares rose 12 cents to $74.38 in morning trading.

Ian Cook, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement accompanying the report that he was pleased with "every geographic region delivering sales and profit increases."

He said Colgate's market share in toothpaste and manual toothbrushes hit all-time highs in the quarter.

"All this adds to our strong confidence that we will deliver double-digit earnings per share growth for the balance of 2007 and full year 2008," Cook said.

The company said North American sales grew 3 percent, while international growth was strongest in Russia, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, France and the United Kingdom.

Colgate's brands include toothpaste and soaps under the Colgate and Palmolive brands. Other brands include Mennen, Softsoap, Irish Spring Ajax and others.