Kimberly-Clark Tells Shareholders At Annual Meeting That Innovation Is Driving Growth Throughout The Company
DALLAS, April 27, 2006 - At Kimberly-Clark’s (NYSE: KMB) annual meeting today, Chairman and CEO Thomas J. Falk described how the company’s sharpened focus on innovation is driving growth across the K-C portfolio.
In voting matters at the meeting, four directors were re-elected to three-year terms expiring in 2009. Directors who were re-elected are Dennis R. Beresford, Ernst & Young Executive Professor of Accounting, University of Georgia; Abelardo E. Bru, retired Vice Chairman, PepsiCo, Inc.; Thomas J. Falk, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Kimberly-Clark Corporation; and Mae C. Jemison, MD, President, BioSentient Corporation.
Shareholders also approved the selection of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm for Kimberly-Clark. Shareholders supported a proposal to elect each director annually and one regarding majority voting in director elections. Two other shareholder proposals calling for a report on sustainable forestry practices and adoption of human rights standards based on International Labor Conventions received support from less than 7.6 percent of the votes cast.
Using insights gained from customers, shoppers and users to develop innovative solutions helped K-C deliver on its financial commitments in 2005 and will provide the impetus for future growth, Falk told shareholders today.
“From family care to personal care, in health care settings and in the broader workplace, we’re bringing innovative products to market that are helping drive volume gains and further strengthen our position as a health and hygiene leader,” he said. “These new and improved products should continue to help benefit our top- and bottom-line.”
Falk noted that Kimberly-Clark is off to a good start in 2006 setting a quarterly sales record of $4.1 billion, due primarily to good volume growth from its well-known global brands, which include Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups and Depend.
New Product Introductions
“We continue to leverage insights from each of our key audiences--customers, shoppers and users--and that has led to the development of entirely new products, improved performance in existing brands and more appealing packaging and merchandising,” Falk said.
He cited a number of innovations that helped boost sales in 2005 as well as several new products the company already has brought to market in 2006 or is slated to introduce later this year. Among those highlighted:
- Pull-Ups, GoodNites and Little Swimmers child care brands generated record sales volumes in 2005. The Pull-Ups brand will introduce two line extensions this spring: Pull-Ups Night Time training pants, providing parents with an overnight alternative to diapers and helping reinforce potty training consistency; and Pull-Ups training pants with Cool Alert, an innovation delivering a cool sensation when wet, signaling to a child an accident has occurred.
- Huggies toiletries achieved a 5 percent share of the U. S. market in 2005, stimulating double-digit category growth. The brand expanded this successful toiletries line in January 2006 with the introduction of Huggies Cleanteam bath and body products for toddlers.
- A strong 2005 performance by new Scott Extra Soft bath tissue led to double-digit volume growth for the Scott brand overall in North America. Earlier this year, Kimberly-Clark introduced Cottonelle for Kids, a line extension that uses kid-friendly graphics and an easy-to-use, pop-up tub to help children learn the proper amount of bath tissue and moist wipes to use.
- K-C’s business in D&E markets in 2005 recorded double-digit gains in sales and operating profit for the second consecutive year. K-C’s multi-tier product strategy helped generate double-digit volume growth in diapers in Latin America last year and the introduction of value-tier training pants in a number of Latin American and Asian markets increased overall D&E training pant sales by more than 40 percent.
- Kimberly-Clark Professional last year introduced a full line of face masks, coveralls and other protective gear targeting both the “do-it-yourself” segment and the even faster-growing “do-it-for-me” professional market. Later this year, K-C Professional will introduce a cut- and chemical-resistant version of its successful Kleenguard Purple Nitrile gloves.
“We’re investing in the best growth opportunities, improving our brands, reducing our cost structure and ultimately creating further long-term competitive advantage,” Falk said. “I’m convinced these efforts will translate into improved returns for our shareholders.”
Replay of Business Review from 2006 Annual Meeting
Shareholders and others are invited to listen to an audio playback and view a PowerPoint presentation of the business review portion of the 2006 annual meeting.
The replay can be accessed shortly after the meeting by following instructions set out in the Investors section of the company’s Web site at www.kimberly-clark.com.
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Everyday, 1.3 billion people--nearly a quarter of the world’s population--trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company’s 132-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com.
Certain matters contained in this news release concerning the business outlook, including new product introductions, cost savings and acquisitions, anticipated costs and savings related to competitive improvement initiatives, anticipated financial and operating results, strategies, contingencies and anticipated transactions of the company constitute forward-looking statements and are based upon management’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events impacting the company. There can be no assurance that these future events will occur as anticipated or that the company’s results will be as estimated. For a description of certain factors that could cause the company’s future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements, see Part I, Item 1A of the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 entitled “Risk Factors.”
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