But Plans Big Marketing Push for New Product Launches

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CINCINNATI ( -- --Clorox Co. today said it will hold overall advertising spending for the full fiscal year that began July 1 about even with last year, but a bevy of new product launches will mean heavier marketing from now through December.

Clorox will keep overall ad spending for fiscal 2004 at around this year's level of $456 million, said Karen Rose, chief financial officer, in a conference call. The leveling follows two consecutive years of increases, including a 9% bump in marketing support last year.

11 new products
President-CEO Jerry Johnston said marketing spending would be heavier than normal in the current quarter behind 11 new products, led by Glad Press 'n Seal wrap, developed in conjunction with Procter & Gamble Co., and a Clorox bleach laundry-treating pen.

Clorox net earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter rose 2.8% to $145 million, with earnings per share up 7.8% to 69 cents. Sales rose 2.1% to $1.15 billion, but would have been up 3% without the impact of divestitures. For the full year, Clorox earnings per share rose 63% to $2.26 on a 3% sales increase to $4.1 billion, as the company's cost-cutting program boosted profits.

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