P&G consumers return, boosting both sales and profits

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Net sales United states dollar

Procter & Gamble appears to have turned the corner having posted first quarter results that beat market expectations.

Net sales came in at the upper end of expectations at $19.8bn, a drop of 6 percent compared to the $20.98 net sales recorded in the corresponding period last year.

The company said the result was mainly attributable to a strengthening of the dollar which meant that it had traded at a less favorable rate against foreign currency compared to the corresponding period last year.

Underlining this claim, organic sales, which also take into account acquisitions and divestitures, rose by 2 percent.

Profits exceed expectations

The consensus from analysts was that net sales for the period would come in at approximately $19.4bn - $20.4bn, which put the company more or less on target.

Net profit fell by 1 percent to $3.31bn, compared to $3.35bn in the corresponding period last year, but the figure largely beat both analysts’ and the company’s own expectations,

In August the company released its quarterly figures for the period ending June 30, showing that net sales dropped by 11 percent, although much of this was attributed to currency effects.

Profits for last quarter down 18 percent

Disappointing sales dragged profits down 18 percent to reach $2.47bn leading P&G chairman A.G. Lafley to refer to fiscal 2009 and in particular the fourth quarter as one of the most difficult macroeconomic environments the company has faced in decades.

Lafley stepped down as CEO at the end of the last financial year, so this was the first full trading quarter with newly appointed CEO Bob McDonald at the helm.

Bob McDonald takes the reins

“Our September quarter results give us encouragement we are making the right choices to grow market share profitability,”​ said McDonald.

“We are investing in innovation, expanding our portfolio and improving consumer value to serve more consumers, in more parts of the world, more completely. We are driving simplifications and improving execution while leveraging scale to create cost efficiencies that help fund these investments and accelerate growth.”

Sales declines were registered in all six of the company’s main business divisions, with beauty net sales decreasing 5 percent to $4.9bn, grooming falling 11 percent to $1.9bn and baby care and family care sales falling 5 percent to $3.6bn.

Forecasts for 2010 raised

Looking ahead for the 2010 fiscal year, the company believes that sales momentum will continue to build, prompting the company to increase it forecast for organic sales growth from 1 – 2 percent to 2 – 4 percent.

Likewise net sales are expected to grow by 3 – 6 percent, largely due to the fact that the US dollar is predicted to weaken in the course of the year, helping to boost overseas revenues.

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