Clorox CEO Linda Rendle told CNBC on Friday that the company has kept increasing production of its disinfecting wipes to meet increased demand from the global Covid crisis now in its second year.
“Last quarter, we made about 1 million canisters of wipes and were getting them to stores every single day,” Rendle said on “Closing Bell.” “This quarter, we’re up to 1.5 million canisters per day, and we’re going to continue to expand that as we bring new capacity online through the next few months.”
Consumers have stocked up on various cleaning supplies during the pandemic, leading to supply shortages for items such as Clorox’s wipes despite efforts to ramp up manufacturing. In December, Clorox Chief Operating Officer Eric Reynolds told NBC News that limited availability may persist until “mid-2021.”
Clorox hiked its full-year revenue forecast following its quarterly earnings report earlier this month. The company now expects sales to increase between 10% and 13% in fiscal 2021, up from prior projections of 5% to 9% growth.
The number of coronavirus cases has fallen recently and Covid vaccines are becoming more accessible, prompting some optimism that the acute phase of the pandemic will soon pass. But for Clorox, Rendle said the rosier revenue picture is due partly to a shift in how people are viewing sanitation as a result of the health crisis.
“That’s true here in the U.S. but really around the world. People are adopting cleaning as more of a thing around safety and wellness, not just a chore,” said Rendle, who took over as CEO of the household products maker in September. She had been serving as Clorox’s president.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, one trend in the cleaning products industry was a push for greater sustainability and transparency. To that end, Clorox launched compostable cleaning wipes in January 2020. But, Rendle said, production had to be halted due to Covid, as products that could be manufactured quicker received greater priority.
“We’re going to bring those compostable wipes back, and we expect it to be a large portion of our portfolio as we move forward,” she said.
Shares of Clorox fell 1.37% Friday to $187.05 apiece. The Oakland, California-based company has seen its stock rise 13.5% in the past 12 months.