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Original Source: FD (FAIR DISCLOSURE) WIRE
JIM BARRETT, ANALYST, CL KING & ASSOCIATES: --And the folks we have with us today is Jim King, who heads Investor Relations, and Dave Evans, who's the CFO. So, we'll start the presentation off with Dave.
DAVE EVANS, CFO, THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY: Good morning. Thanks, Jim. It's good to be here this morning. I'm going to take the next 20-25 minutes and give you a brief overview of the Scotts Company and leave a few minutes at the end for some Q&A.
So, for those of you not familiar with the Scotts story, we believe it's a very compelling story. There's four very strong reasons why we believe that.
First and foremost, we have the industry-leading brands and with Scotts, Miracle-Gro and Ortho, we enjoy number one share in virtually every category we participate in, in North America. We also have a strong relationship with the consumer, with a long history of spending to generate and build that relationship.
We have a proven record of innovation. I'll share with you some examples of that innovation in the slides that follow.
And we also enjoy the competitive advantage of an extremely strong operational platform and a unique store-service model, both of which I'll touch upon as we get into the presentation.
And finally, we believe we have some long-term growth opportunities, particularly in our lawn service business.
Perhaps most importantly, though, we play in a very attractive, large and growing category. Our category is around $5 billion. It's been growing at a steady rate and our share, as well, has been improving 100 basis points a year, on average, and we now enjoy a 54 share in the categories we participate in.
The category is also attractive for a variety of reasons. First of all, gardening is still the number one leisure activity for Americans. Participation has reached an all-time high. The consumer activity in this category has been fairly consistent, growing at least 7% a year since 2001.
The point-of-sale improvements of consumer purchases of our products have shown some resiliency, even in times of more challenging economic environment. So, an example was last year where consumers were beginning to feel the stress from higher fuel costs and other commodity costs and we actually had a fairly average weather year and our point-of-sale purchases grew double digits last year. And finally, it's a category where consumers are willing to be brand loyal, as shown by our consistent growth in key categories with our brands.
So, we have some pretty distinct advantages. We participate in a …