Ecolab's fourth-quarter earnings surged 45% on prior-year charges, the company announced on Feb. 11
The results were led by new account gains, pricing, cost-savings actions and favorable raw material comparisons, according to Ecolab.
Ecolab's reported net sales increased 5% to $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009; measured in fixed currencies, sales rose 2%. Excluding the impact of a change in distributor incentive programs and acquisitions and divestitures, fixed currency sales increased 1%. Net income increased 45% to $116 million. Reported diluted earnings per share increased 45% to $0.48.
Fourth quarter 2009 and 2008 results included special gains and charges and discrete tax items. Excluding those items, adjusted fourth quarter 2009 diluted earnings per share were $0.55, a 22% increase over adjusted fourth quarter 2008 diluted earnings per share of $0.45. The fourth quarter 2009 also included the effects of a change in distributor incentive programs made earlier in the year; this reversed a reduction in sales and earnings in the first quarter 2009 and increased fourth quarter earnings by approximately $0.03 per share.
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