updated 7/27/2005 9:06:50 AM ET 2005-07-27T13:06:50

Consumer-products company Colgate-Palmolive Co. said Wednesday its second-quarter profit fell 8 percent due to charges related to a restructuring program.

Net profit decreased to $342.9 million, or 62 cents per share, from $373.9 million, or 66 cents per share, last year. Excluding a $28.7 million after-tax restructuring charge, the company reported earnings of $371.6 million, or 67 cents per share, matching the mean estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Revenue for the period rose 11 percent to $2.84 billion from $2.57 billion and topped the analysts’ prediction of $2.77 billion.

Excluding the charge, gross margins declined to 55.1 percent from 55.4 percent a year ago.

Sales in North America increased 9 percent to $632.1 million in the quarter, with unit volume up 8 percent.

The company forecast high single-digit earnings per share growth for the year, followed by a return to double-digit earnings per share growth in 2006, before restructuring charges. The company reported earnings per share of $2.42 in 2004. Analysts estimate earnings per share at $2.63 for 2005, and $2.92 for 2006.

Colgate said the profit margin declined only slightly despite a significant rise in raw and packaging material costs.

“Although the cost environment is expected to remain difficult, our ongoing focus on cost savings, the benefits of restructuring and the impact of the recently announced sale of our North American detergent business should allow gross margin expansion in the balance of the year,” said Reuben Mark, Colgate-Palmolive chairman and chief executive.

Colgate announced a four-year restructuring program in December that would cut its worldwide work force by about 12 percent, or 4,400 jobs, and close a third of its factories.

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