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Clorox cuts annual forecasts on cyber attack woes

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LA Post: Clorox cuts annual forecasts on cyber attack woes
November 01, 2023
Reuters

(Reuters) - Cleaning supplies company Clorox on Wednesday cut its annual profit and revenue forecasts, reeling from an August cyberattack that threw its order fulfillment facilities out of gear for more than a month.

The Pine-Sol manufacturer was among several companies including gambling giants MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment to be hit by cyber attacks since August.

Clorox had anticipated its first-quarter results to be impacted by the shipping delays caused by the incident.

"We were expecting to grow gross margins this year and build on that nice progress we made last year. Our intent now is to hold margins," CFO Kevin Jacobsen told Reuters on the impact of the attack on fiscal 2024.

The cyber incident has led the company's net sales to drop 23% in its household and health and wellness segments, while its food and personal care segment net sales dropped 28% in the first quarter.

With Clorox's products off the shelves for a short period in September due to the attack, Jacobsen added that private label brands made some inroads into the company's market share.

"Consumers will be under more pressure as we get to the back half of our fiscal year," Jacobsen added citing factors such as rising interest rates and a return to student loan payments crimping purchasing power.

The company now expects an annual adjusted profit between $4.30 and $4.80 per share, compared with its previous forecast of $5.60 and $5.90 per share.

Clorox expects net sales to be down mid-to-high single digits, as against its previous forecast of flat to 2% up.

For the first quarter ended Sept. 30, the company posted a profit of 49 cents, while analysts had expected it to post a loss of 22 cents.

(Reporting by Juveria Tabassum; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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