Clorox raises forecast after best sales jump in over 20 years

(Reuters) - Clorox Co CLX.N reported its strongest quarterly sales growth in more than two decades on Monday and raised its full-year revenue forecast as coronavirus-driven hygiene needs escalated demand for everything from its disinfectants to water filters.

Americans are using more of Clorox’s Glad trash bags as they clean their homes more often and are installing water filtration devices and eating more vitamins and supplements to improve health and hygiene at home.

They are also grilling often, even on weekdays, as they cook more at home, helping Clorox double its sales of charcoal, the company’s new chief executive officer, Linda Rendle, told analysts on a call.

But this demand has also put some strains on the supply chain, with Rendle saying that the company is still struggling to meet demand for its products.

“One thing that continues to keep me up at night (is) our ongoing focus to meet unprecedented demand for much of our portfolio,” Rendle, who took over as CEO in September, said on the call, adding that these capacity constrained businesses would see a staggered recovery over the next two quarters.

This comes after the company warned in August that grocery shelves will not be fully stocked with its disinfecting wipes until next year, due to complexities in the supply chain.

Despite limitations in its supply chain the company said it will not hike prices of products during the pandemic, leveraging its cost-savings program to keep prices low.

Clorox said it now expects full-year sales to rise 5% to 9% and earnings per share to grow between 5% and 8%.

The company’s shares, up 36% this year, were 3% higher in afternoon trading.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale and Uday Sampath Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Maju Samuel