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The Clorox Company Celebrates 100 Years of Success and Looks to the Future

The Clorox Company -- then called the Electro-Alkaline Company -- began in 1913 when five men invested $100 each and using brine from the salt ponds of the San Francisco Bay and an electrical current, created bleach. A century later, Clorox has growth into a $5.5 billion multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer products used in millions of households around the world. Click here for high-resolution version

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwired - May 7, 2013) -  The Clorox Company ( NYSE : CLX ) today kicked off the celebration of its centennial anniversary, marking 100 years of growth that has led to its becoming a $5.5 billion multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer products used every day in millions of homes around the world. 

"One hundred years ago, five men invested $500 to start a business here in Oakland, California, with the vision of fulfilling their American dream through a bottle of bleach," said Chairman and CEO Don Knauss. "Clorox has come a long way since then. Today, we share the same innovative and tenacious spirit of our founders in pursuing growth opportunities for our business and in ensuring the care and quality that goes into every product."

"Throughout its history -- providing the disinfecting power of bleach around the world, donating products during natural disasters, bringing hundreds of products to life that make everyday life better and investing time and resources in our communities -- The Clorox Company has earned the trust and respect of people everywhere," said California Governor Jerry Brown, who attended Clorox's employee town hall meeting in Oakland. "I congratulate all those present and past who are part of the Clorox family."

Knauss continues, "While it's certainly a time for us to reflect on where we've been, it's even more important for us to focus on where we're headed. I'm confident in the ability of Clorox people and in our strategic plans to continue delivering long-term, sustainable growth."

A global team of talented and highly engaged people drive the business.
Clorox's business strategy begins with its people. The company's strong focus on the engagement, development and well-being of its 8,400 employees around the world helps ensure it is a high performance organization of enthusiastic owners who give their best every day. In the last few years, Clorox's employee engagement scores have significantly surpassed a global benchmark of companies, reaching a high of 88 percent in fiscal year 2012. In addition, the company's focus on fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion has been an integral part of its business. Since 2006, Clorox has earned a 100 percent rating in the Human Rights Corporate Equality Index for its policies and benefits with respect to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. The company also depends on employee diversity to help power innovation and marketing efforts targeting multicultural consumers. 

Portfolio of leading brands creates competitive advantage. 
Bleach, the company's first product, traces its origins to the saltwater ponds of San Francisco Bay, where Clorox's founders used brine and an electrical current to produce sodium hypochlorite bleach. For generations, Clorox® regular bleach has been a household staple and has played an important public health role by killing germs that make people sick. And, with its new concentrated formula, Clorox regular bleach is delivering improved whitening power and sustainability benefits from using less water and packaging materials. 

From those early days, Clorox has since grown into a global manufacturer of leading brands that have become household names. Today, nearly 90 percent of the company's brands rank No.1 or No. 2 in market share.1 And the company continues to strengthen its portfolio by focusing on the global consumer "megatrends" of health and wellness, sustainability, multiculturalism and affordability:

  • In order to address emerging consumer demand for natural products, Clorox expanded its portfolio with the launch of Green Works® naturally derived cleaners and the acquisition of the Burt's Bees® brand, a leader in natural personal care.
  • Building on the company's strength in disinfecting products and its focus on helping to reduce hospital-acquired infections, Clorox expanded its Professional Products business into healthcare channels. In fiscal year 2010, the company acquired Caltech Industries, a U.S. leader in healthcare disinfecting products. In fiscal year 2012, the company purchased Aplicare, Inc., a leader in infection prevention products for the skin, and Healthlink, which bundles a range of products for individual physicians, doctors' offices, outpatient care centers and other small healthcare facilities.
  • An important part of Clorox's environmental sustainability strategy is improving the sustainability profile of its product portfolio through the continued redesign of packaging and ongoing sustainability reductions or enhancements to product formulations. Since 2005, the company has made sustainability improvements2 to 50 percent of its product portfolio.
  • In fiscal year 2012, the company introduced Clorox® antihongos (antifungal spray), Clorox® desengrasante antibacterial (antibacterial degreaser) and a new line of Clorox Fraganzia cleaners, aerosols and spray disinfectants specifically designed to appeal to Hispanic consumers. Clorox also grew its presence among key regional Hispanic retailers, and, as a result of its efforts across many of its brands, in fiscal year 2012, our U.S. Hispanic market-share growth outpaced our general market-share growth for Kingsford®, Hidden Valley®, Pine-Sol®, Glad® and multiple Clorox®-branded products.

Product innovation is delighting consumers.
Clorox is accelerating the pace of innovation. For 10 consecutive years, the company has met or exceeded its annual innovation target of 2 percentage points, and in the last year, delivered record levels of product innovation, contributing more than 3 percentage points of incremental sales growth. Clorox recently raised its annual target for sales growth from new products from 2 percent to 3 percent. In addition to the introduction of concentrated bleach, examples of new products launched in the last few years include:

  • A new, stronger Glad® trash bag that uses less plastic, saving more than 6.5 million pounds of plastic every year. 
  • The Brita Bottle®, a reusable, recyclable bottle with a replaceable filter that improves the taste of water and can replace up to 300 standard 16.9-ounce disposable water bottles.
  • Clorox Healthcare™ hydrogen peroxide products, registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are ready-to-use disinfectants that eliminate most bacteria and viruses prevalent in commercial facilities in as fast as 30 seconds.3
  • Clorox's Smart Tube® technology, available in the company's portfolio of sprays, including Clorox®, Formula 409®, Tilex® and Green Works® products, enables consumers to spray every last drop of product.
  • Burt's Bees' güd® natural personal care brand that aims to be "eco-fun" and attract new, younger consumers to the natural personal care category.

Clorox has returned nearly $3 billion to stockholders in the last five years through fiscal year 2012.
Delivering enduring value for its stockholders is the company's No.1 priority. A track record of strong cash flow has enabled Clorox to pursue strategic acquisitions and return excess cash to stockholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. In the last four years, Clorox's total stockholder returns have surpassed that of the S&P 500 and its peer group. In the last six years, the company has more than doubled its annual dividend from $1.20 to $2.56 per share. Fiscal year 2012 also marked the company's 35th consecutive year to increase its total annual dividends paid to stockholders. Looking ahead, Clorox aims to be among the top third of companies in its peer group in delivering stockholder returns.

Corporate responsibility guides the company's long-term success.
More than ever, consumers and investors are voting with their wallets when it comes to companies doing the right thing. While Clorox's values have guided its success for 100 years, in fiscal year 2010, the company established a formal corporate responsibility strategy that is tightly integrated with the business.

Earlier this year, Clorox ranked No. 41 on the 2013 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media and investment research company. Clorox ranked second among household and personal products companies. The company also received the Most Innovative Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Disclosure Policy Award by Corporate Secretary magazine. The award recognized the company's 2011 annual report "Think Outside the Bottle," which was Clorox's first time to combine its financial, environmental, social and governance performance in an integrated report.

As Clorox looks beyond its centennial anniversary, the company will continue its focus on delivering value for all of its stakeholders by delivering financial results that are underpinned by strong environmental, social and governance performance.

To view multi-media assets for Clorox's centennial, please visit www.thecloroxcompany.com/company/centennial

The Clorox Company
The Clorox Company is a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products with approximately 8,400 employees and fiscal year 2012 revenues of $5.5 billion. Clorox markets some of the most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Clorox Healthcare™, HealthLink®, Aplicare® and Dispatch® products, Green Works® naturally derived products, Pine-Sol® cleaners, Poett® home care products, Fresh Step® cat litter, Glad® bags, wraps and containers, Kingsford® charcoal, Hidden Valley® and KC Masterpiece® dressings and sauces, Brita® water-filtration products, and Burt's Bees® and gud® natural personal care products. Nearly 90 percent of the company's brands hold the No. 1 or No. 2 market share positions in their categories. Clorox's commitment to corporate responsibility includes making a positive difference in its communities. In fiscal year 2012, The Clorox Company Foundation awarded $3.5 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $15 million. For more information, visit TheCloroxCompany.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are based on management's current views and assumptions regarding future events and may involve risks and uncertainties. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by the federal securities laws.

1 Source: Marketshare for U.S. retail brands (excluding Burt's Bees brand) are based on IRI Infoscan Data - Total U.S. Multi-Outlet (Food/Drug/Mass, Walmart, Sam's, BJ's, Family Dollar, Fred's and DeCA) for 52 weeks ended June 2012. International market share data is from IRI as of June 2011.

2 A sustainability improvement is defined as a 5+ percent reduction in product packaging or enhancement to a product's formula.

3 Based on disinfecting claims and contact times listed on product master label as of June 2012.