CINCINNATTI: Procter & Gamble and smaller rival Colgate-Palmolive have both posted slightly better-than-expected quarterly sales and profits, signalling bright prospects for the rest of 2007.

P&G, whose brands include Pampers diapers and Pringles chips, posted a 12% rise in fiscal second-quarter profit. Its Gillette division was one of the primary drivers of profitability as integration nears completion and the premium-price Fusion razor gains distribution in Japan, Germany and the UK.

Colgate, headquartered in New York and best known for its eponymous toothpaste, posted an 11% rise in Q4 profit. The company said its share of the US toothpaste market rose to 37.3%, nearly three points ahead of its nearest competitor.

Sales in Latin America, which accounted for 25% of its revenues, increased 14% to $816.4 million (€630.7m; £418m), while North American sales, which represent 21% of Colgate's income, rose to $657.7m from $614.6m.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff