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Arm & Hammer toothpaste maker Church & Dwight UK boosts profits

By Chris Price

A jump in profits put a shine on the annual results of the company behind Arm & Hammer toothpaste.

Church & Dwight UK, which has its British factory and offices in Folkestone, reported a 45% boost to its bottom line, reaching £12.6 million before tax.

The firm, whose US parent company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, increased revenues by 11% to £101.7 million in 2016, its latest accounts show.

Church & Dwight makes Arm & Hammer toothpaste in Folkestone
Church & Dwight makes Arm & Hammer toothpaste in Folkestone

While UK sales grew 5% to £51.9 million, its turnover on mainland Europe jumped 31% to £33.4 million. Its net assets stood at £42.7m.

Church & Dwight makes Batiste dry shampoo, Pearl Drops and Arm & Hammer toothpaste, Nair hair removal products and femfresh shower and shaving cream in Folkestone, where it employs about 290 people.

Last year was a record year for the factory, producing 93.8 million units.

Marketing director Michael Benson said: “The international businesses that the Folkestone factory supplies have grown over the years meaning we are supplying ever more products.

“We also have new production lines that use the latest technologies and trained more operators and engineers than ever before.

“This has improved our efficiencies and benefited the business in the last year.”

The Church & Dwight factory in Bowles Well Gardens in Folkestone
The Church & Dwight factory in Bowles Well Gardens in Folkestone

The UK is Church & Dwight’s third largest market. However, finance director David Upton raised concerns about “competitive trading conditions in the UK and Europe” in his report on the company’s 2016 accounts.

He said this was “putting pressure on certain brands which could lead to a loss of revenue”.

“The company manages this risk by marketing a broad product range across many countries and maintaining strong relationships with customers,” he said.

Last year, US parent Church & Dwight Inc bought Water Pik, which makes oral hygiene products and shower heads, for about $1 billion (£718m) in cash.

The $3.5 billion (£2.5bn) company has its HQ in New Jersey.

Mr Upton added: “The company will continue to operate in its market in the UK and overseas and will seek to take advantage of expansion opportunities wherever it sees fit.”

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