Global Sales Boost WD-40


Boosted by growth in Asia/Pacific markets, WD-40 Co. on Jan. 9 reported that its net sales for its first quarter, ended Nov. 30, reached $79.2 million, a 10 percent increase over the year-ago quarter, while net income rose 9.4 percent, to $6.2 million, compared to the year-earlier period.

Earnings per share were 36 cents in the first quarter, an increase of 9.1 percent from 33 cents in the same quarter a year earlier. WD-40s fiscal year runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31.

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During the first quarter, the companys sales figures reflected the results of WD-40s on-going strategy to diversify the company across brands, borders and trade channels, according to Garry Ridge, president and chief executive officer of San Diego-based WD-40. In the first quarter, 67 percent of WD-40 brand sales and 56 percent of our total sales were outside the United States, Ridge said.

Global sales of the lubricants WD-40 and 3-in-One were up 17.2 percent to $57.3 million, compared to the year-earlier period.

Total sales included 55 percent from the Americas, 36 percent from Europe and 9 percent from Asia/Pacific. In the Americas, sales for the quarter reached $43.6 million, down 3.5 percent from a year earlier.

In the Americas, Latin America sales growth was offset by declines in the U.S. and Canada, Ridge said. We were pleased with our progress in Europe, which achieved double digit sales growth in all of our markets with the exception of the UK, which was off slightly from last year. We had a very strong quarter in Asia/Pacific and saw growth in our key markets, including Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. We also had a good quarter in China – early evidence that our shift to direct operations there was a sensible move.

Gross margin during the first quarter was 47.3 percent of sales, down from 47.9 percent in the year-earlier period. He said WD-40 continues to be concerned about the rising costs of oil, plastic and steel.

These factors affect us in our cost of goods across all our markets as well as in freight, Ridge explained. Our push to improve our margins through innovation, the evolution of our supply chain, and price increases where necessary have helped but have not yet been enough to mitigate the underlying cost increases.

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