Clorox Expands Disinfectant Wipe Manufacturing Amid Covid: CEO Linda Rendle

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Linda Rendle, CEO of Clorox, told CNBC on Friday that the company had further increased the production of its disinfectant wipes to meet the increased demand from the global Covid crisis as early as the second year.

“We made about 1 million canisters of wipes last quarter and brought them to stores every day,” said Rendle at Closing Bell. “This quarter we have up to 1.5 million canisters per day and will continue to expand these when we bring new capacities online in the next few months.”

Consumers stocked up on various cleaning products during the pandemic, which, despite efforts to boost production, resulted in supply bottlenecks for items like Clorox wipes. In December, Clorox chief operating officer Eric Reynolds told NBC News that the limited availability may last until “mid-2021”.

Clorox has raised its full-year revenue guidance following its quarterly earnings report earlier this month. The company now expects revenue to grow between 10% and 13% in fiscal 2021, up from previous projections of 5% to 9% growth.

The number of coronavirus cases has been falling recently and Covid vaccines are becoming more and more accessible, leading to optimism that the acute phase of the pandemic will soon be over. For Clorox, however, Rendle said the rosier sales picture is partly due to a shift in people’s view of sanitation as a result of the health crisis.

“That’s true here in the US, but really all over the world. People focus on cleaning and more on safety and wellbeing, not just on work,” said Rendle, who took over the management of the household goods manufacturer in September. She had served as President of Clorox.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, a trend in the detergent industry was a drive for greater sustainability and transparency. To this end, Clorox launched compostable cleaning wipes in January 2020. However, according to Rendle, production had to be halted due to Covid, as products that could be manufactured faster were given a higher priority.

“We will be bringing these compostable wipes back and we expect them to be a large part of our portfolio as we move forward,” she said.

Clorox shares fell 1.37% on Friday to $ 187.05 apiece. Headquartered in Oakland, Calif., Shares rose 13.5% over the past 12 months.

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