labels: godrej group, godrej soaps
Godrej increases focus on detergents news
09 September 1999

Godrej India''s recent acquisition of three detergent brands -  Ezee liquid detergent, Trilo and Key -  from Cussons India,  indicates its commitment to focus on detergents market with a view to becoming  a serious player in this business.

Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej Industries, says that this acquisition reaffirms company''s commitment  to fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) business. Ezee as a brand he feels, will add tremendously to the topline growth of the company. It also   intends to retain the leadership position in detergents market by offering customers better and high quality products. In the near future, he says, Ezee will be relaunched with added consumer benefits.

Ezee, which at present, is one of the largest selling liquid detergent brands in India with a sales of over Rs 18 crore, was initially launched by Godrej Soaps in 1983. It was later transferred to Procter & Gamble India in 1993 as a part of the joint venture pact between the two companies. Cussons India acquired the brand from P&G in 1998, and has now sold it back to Godrej Soaps.

Godrej has its own liquid detergent brand Dip which has a market share of 15 per cent in the liquid detergents market. With Ezee now in its portfolio, Godrej''s share will rise to over   75 per cent of the Rs. 35-crore liquid detergent market in India.

In addition to these brands, Godrej has acquired rights to manufacture, sell and distribute Imperial Leather soap & talc, a brand owned by Cussons UK. The Indian subsidiary of the UK-based company has retained its marketing rights over the brand.

Godrej will provide its manufacturing and distribution capabilities to Cussons for Imperial Leather which will help Godrej utilise its existing capacities better and help strengthen the distribution of Imperial Leather.

Trilo & Key are detergent brands with good consumer recall and potential with a strong market in the South, while Ezee has a strong base in the North and East. The company is planning to develop Trilo and Key for the rural markets.

The company has acquired the rights to these brands for India, Benelux and Iran from Cussons.

Cussons Pvt Ltd was formed in 1995, and has been operating in India since then. In 1997, the company went in for a national launch of Imperial Leather soap and talc and in 1998 it acquired the Ezee brand. It was able to increase the volume of  sales   by over than 15 per cent as against the previous year.

Cussons India is part of the UK-based Paterson Zochonis group of companies. The Group which is involved in selling personal and household cleaning products, has a turnover of US $1 billion, and has operations in more than 20 countries around the world. Imperial Leather is a leading brand in many countries and it is also a key brand of the group.

Godrej has been showing a sluggish performance in the recent past. However, this fiscal year, the company has shown an improved performance owing mostly to the restructuring efforts undertaken by the company. Thus, for the period ended June 30, 1999, Godrej reported a turnaround in its first quarter results.

The company''s net profit, PAT has registered an increase of over 400 per cent to Rs. 5.21 crore as against a PAT of Rs. 1.01 crore in the same period last year. Gross profit, or, PBIDT, registered an increase of 35 per cent at Rs. 30.05 crore as against Rs. 22.22 crore in the same period last year.

Sales volumes were maintained at Rs. 193.52 crore for this quarter as against sales of Rs. 191.29 crores in the same period last year. While the turnover from the soap contract manufacturing operations of the company dropped in this period, the sales of the Company''s own brands improved.

The sales of Godrej toilet soaps grew by 17 per cent, hair dyes by 20 per cent, shaving cream by 21 per cent as against sales in the same period last year. Mr. Adi B, Godrej, attributes this turnaround to the good performance of the consumer products division of the company and the recent restructuring efforts which resulted in the creation of divisions and the operational efficiency enhancement activities undertaken by the company.

Recently, Godrej appointed marketing consultants Samsika to rehaul the positioning of soap brands Cinthol, Evita, Ganga and Crowning Glory. The new strategy is expected to include designing a new logo, repackaging products, revising prices to cater to various price points and maybe even a new product launch.

Godrej Soaps Ltd. is a major player in the Indian soaps & toiletries market with leading brands such as Cinthol, Ganga, Godrej No.1, Shikhakai and Evita range of soaps, Godrej shaving cream and hair dyes, and Dip liquid detergent.

With a turnover of over Rs. 900 crores, the company has four manufacturing facilities at Mumbai in Maharashtra, Malanpur in Madhya Pradesh, Silvassa in Dadra and Valia in Gujarat. It is also a leading manufacturer of surface active agents and oleochemicals.

Other associate companies include: Godrej Sara Lee Ltd., Godrej Pillsbury Ltd., Godrej Foods Ltd., Godrej Agrovet Ltd. and Godrej Properties and Investments Ltd.

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Godrej increases focus on detergents