WD-40’s ‘Smart Straw’ Sips Success


Worldwide sales of WD-40 and 3-in-One Oil in the quarter and year ending Aug. 31 reached $54.1 million and $216.3 million respectively, up 7.8 percent for the quarter compared to the year-earlier period and 13.6 percent for the year. The company plans to convert many of its can sizes in the United States to its successful Smart Straw nozzle format.

Global sales ofWD-40’s lubricant products have grown over the past five years. This long term trend stems from the success of our geographic expansion and brand development as well as new delivery systems for the WD-40 brand, said Garry Ridge, WD-40 president and chief executive officer. Due to the success of the WD-40 Smart Straw product in the market, we plan to convert many of our can sizes to that format exclusively in the United States in the third fiscal quarter of 2008. The Smart Straw features a permanently attached straw that flips up to provide either a pinpoint stream or a wide spray.

WD-40 on Oct. 17 reported that for the year ended Aug. 31, net sales reached a record $307.8 million, up 7.3 percent over the prior year. Net income went up 12.2 percent to $31.5 million, compared to the year 2006 total. Earnings per share for the year grew 9.8 percent to $1.83, compared to $1.66 per share at the end of 2006.

The San Diego based lubricant, hand cleaner and household products manufacturer said its net sales for the fourth quarter reached $78.9 million, a 5 percent increase over 2006s fourth quarter, while net income rose 46.4 percent to $9.3 million, compared to the year-earlier period. The revenue growth was driven by strong achievement in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America, where we also benefited from an improved gross margin, a reduction in debt and a lower effective tax rate, said Ridge.

The company said earnings per share for the quarter were 54 cents in the first quarter, compared to 43 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier, a 44.7 percent increase.

The Americas counted for 61 percent of total sales for the year, Europe for 31 percent and Asia/Pacific for 8 percent. In the Americas, sales for the fourth quarter hit $47.1 million, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier. They totaled $187.1 million for fiscal year 2007, up 0.2 percent from 2006. For the year, we grew our Americas lubricant business by more than 8 percent, but showed declines in household products and hand cleaners in the region, Ridge said.

In Europe, sales reached $24.9 million the fourth quarter, up 17.8 percent from the year earlier period and $96.5 million for the 2007 fiscal year, up 22 percent from 2006.

In the Asia/Pacific region, sales for the fourth quarter grew 13.4 percent to $7 million, compared to 2006s fourth quarter. The total sales for fiscal 2007 topped $24.2 million, up 14.9 percent from 2006. During the past year we had increased sales in China of 50.3 percent, as a result of our new direct operations, Ridge said.

For fiscal year 2008, WD-40 said it expects net sales to grow 7 to 10 percent to the $329 million to $339 million range. The company expects net income of $31.1 million to $32.8 million in 2008, achieving earnings per share of $1.83 to $1.93 based on an estimated 17 million shares outstanding.

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