Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL), the maker of its namesake toothpaste and other consumer products, posted higher quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by the first overall rise in prices in two years and strong oral-care sales.

Profit excluding items rose to $369.7 million, or 67 cents per share, from $329 million, or 58 cents a share, a year earlier. The results met the average forecast from analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.

Sales rose 8 percent to $2.91 billion. Unit volume, a measure that excludes foreign currency and price fluctuations, rose 5 percent.

Prices rose 1 percent. Colgate, along with other consumer products companies, has been grappling with higher costs for resins and other raw materials, as well as higher transportation costs, due to steep increases in oil prices. The New York-based company unveiled a restructuring plan last year that will cut 12 percent of its work force and close one-third of its factories.

Colgate said it expects high single-digit earnings per share growth for 2005 and double-digit growth in 2006, on a percentage basis.

Colgate trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of about 20.2 times its 2005 earnings estimate, slightly trailing the valuation of consumer products powerhouse Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), which trades at 21.6 times earnings expectations for its fiscal year ending in June.