Comparing Revenue And Key Metrics For The Two Consumer Giants, Colgate-Palmolive And Kimberly Clark

by Trefis Team
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Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL) and Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) are two major players in the consumer products segment, with Colgate having a bigger global presence of the two. Colgate’s Revenue comes mainly from Oral Care Products, whereas for Kimberly Clark, Personal Care (mainly Baby Care) and Consumer Tissue make up a significant portion of the revenue.

In this dashboard, Colgate-Palmolive vs Kimberly Clark: How Have Revenues And Key Metrics For Each Changed Over Recent Years?, we take a look at how the two businesses have evolved since 2012.

How have Total Revenues for both companies trended since 2012?

  • Colgate and Kimberly Clark have both seen an overall drop in revenue from 2012-2018, with a 1.42% average annual drop in revenue for Colgate and 1.14% for Kimberly Clark.
  • This has been due to a lot of factors, such as a slump in emerging market demand and adverse foreign currency fluctuations.
  • Kimberly Clark’s Revenue was also slightly affected by the spin-off of its health care business (Halyard Health) into a separate company in 2014 (now completely owned by Owens & Minor).
  • However, this has helped Kimberly Clark focus more on its Professional Services segment, whose share in total revenue has been gradually increasing since.

  • The period between 2014 and 2016 saw a substantial drop in revenue for both companies, on the back of a growth slowdown in emerging markets.
  • As can be seen, Colgate was more affected by this (a 7.4% drop in 2015 and 5.1% in 2016), as more than 70% of its revenue comes from outside the United States.
  • On the other hand, Kimberly Clark’s revenue wasn’t as badly affected (5.7% drop in 2015 and 1.6% in 2016), since more than half its revenue comes from North America.

Comparing Gross Profit and Gross Margins for the two companies

  • Colgate has always had significantly higher gross margins than Kimberly Clark.
  • This is due to Kimberly Clark’s high raw material and manufacturing costs, owing to their product line.
  • Both companies have seen a little growth in gross margins over the last 6 years.
  • However, Kimberly Clark’s gross margins took a substantial hit in 2018, from 35.9% in 2017 to 30.3% in 2018.
  • This has been due to the higher than expected rise in the price of commodities, which has affected the prices of their raw materials.
  • Besides this, adverse currency fluctuations have also weighed down the margins, as can be seen with Colgate as well (60.2% in 2017 to 59.2% in 2018).

How does Colgate’s Personal Care Segment compare with that of Kimberly Clark’s?

  • Kimberly Clark’s Personal Care Segment is much larger than that of Colgate (given most of Colgate’s revenue comes from Oral Care).
  • However, over recent years both companies have seen a similar trend in personal care revenues.
  • Kimberly Clark’s personal care revenue has dropped from $9.6 billion in 2012 to $9 billion in 2018.
  • Colgate’s personal care revenue has also seen a drop, from $3.8 billion in 2012 to $3.1 billion in 2018.

How have the number of Employees and Revenue per Employee trended for both companies?

  • Colgate-Palmolive has a bigger global presence than Kimberly Clark, with offices in over 75 countries, as compared to 60 for Kimberly Clark.
  • Even then, as of 2018 Kimberly Clark has about 1.2x the number of employees Colgate does.
  • This can be attributed to the fact that Kimberly Clark needs more manpower when it comes to manufacturing, due to the nature of its products.
  • The abrupt drop in Kimberly Clark’s number of employees in 2014, was due to the spinning off of its healthcare business into a separate company.
  • Revenue per employee for both companies is similar as of 2018, at around $450,000 per employee on average.

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