By Linda Rendle, CEO – The Clorox Company
Today we reported our fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2021 earnings results.
In a trying year where all of us were faced with enormous challenges — professionally and personally — I’m very proud of how we delivered, pragmatic about the near-term challenges ahead and excited about what we can accomplish over the long-term as we continue to execute on our IGNITE Strategy.
For the year, we delivered strong sales growth of 9%, with growth across all of our business segments. On a two-year stack basis, we delivered 17% sales growth. This performance demonstrates Clorox’s unique strengths — the caliber of our people, quality of our brands and products, and the resilience of our categories. We worked tirelessly over the past year to supply consumers with goods across our portfolio, which was very impacted by the pandemic and people spending more time at home. This included cleaning and disinfecting products; water filtration and vitamins, minerals and supplements; and bags and wraps, food, grilling, and cat litter products. As a result, we experienced significant growth in demand and strengthened our position amongst global consumers, with household penetration growth supported by strong repeat purchase rates.
At the same time, the pandemic continues to cause unprecedented volatility, and we are operating in one of the most difficult cost environments in recent memory. Rising input and transportation costs continue to pressure our profitability, which contributed to lower gross margin for the full year and a 2% decline in our fiscal ’21 adjusted EPS. We expect this to continue in fiscal ’22 and are taking decisive action to mitigate headwinds while advancing our IGNITE strategy for long-term growth. Thanks to my Clorox teammates around the world, we’ve made excellent progress, including restoring our supply and product assortment, which led to improved market share in most of our businesses; achieving annual cost savings of over $120 million; and advancing our ESG goals, which are core to our strategy.
The pandemic has shown us that we need to accelerate our IGNITE strategy to take advantage of the strong customer loyalty we have built, respond to the changing behaviors of our consumers, and set the company up for long term success. I have strong conviction that the focused actions we are taking — investing in innovation, leveraging purpose and personalization to drive consumer loyalty, enhancing our digital capabilities, and improving efficiency — will strengthen our competitive advantages for years to come.
Led by our values of doing the right thing, putting people at the center, and playing to win, we are building a stronger and more profitable company. We have a portfolio of leading purpose-driven brands that have never been more loved by consumers and a clear plan to meet our long-term growth targets. Our recent performance and laser focus on executing our strategy give me great confidence in our ability to win and drive accelerated growth in the future, creating value for all of Clorox’s stakeholders.
I am very excited about the future and want to thank all of our teammates, customers, consumers, investors and partners for your support on this journey.