Last week, P&G announced net sales of €15.8bn ($18.9bn) for Q4 fiscal 2021, up 7% on the previous year, largely driven by “disproportionate growth” in health care and the skin and personal care category. Net sales for Q4 were up 18% overall in health care; up 11% in beauty; up 10% in grooming; up 5% in fabric and home care; and up 1% in baby, feminine and family care.
For the full 2021 fiscal year, net sales came in at €64bn ($76.1bn), also up 7% on the previous year. Health care and fabric and home care both saw net sales rise 10% for the full year; net sales rose 8% in beauty, 6% in grooming and 3% in baby, feminine and family care.
Globally, organic sales were up for the year across the company’s “largest and most profitable” markets – Greater China (+12%) and the US (+8%). E-commerce sales across the entire P&G business were also up 35%.
‘Outstanding work over the last 18 months’
David Taylor, chairman, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble, said it was “another strong year” for the company.
“We built strong momentum prior to the pandemic and have strengthened our position further,” Taylor said.
Speaking to analysts in the company’s earnings call, he said the company had continued to “drive disruption” in innovation, brand-building, digitization, supply chain transformation, and its ESG efforts.
“…Our team has done some outstanding work over the last 18 months to manage through the challenges of the COVID crisis and make our business even stronger in the process. In our April earnings call last year, we said we would step forward into the challenge of COVID, not back. We said we would double down to serve consumers, and that’s exactly what our team has done.”
Oral care innovation had been particularly well-received, he said, with the Oral-B iO Power Brush offering superior performance in the category and creating important growth for P&G in the brush segment. Similarly, he said P&G’s Crest Whitening Emulsions had enabled consumers to move “beyond occasion-based whitening” to a product that could be used up to four times a day, leading to plenty of the company’s organic growth in the US. Superiority and sustainable innovation in the European shave care business had also stimulated growth, he said.
‘Thoughtfully planned’ CEO and COO transition at P&G helm
Alongside earnings, P&G also announced David Taylor would retire as CEO, maintaining his position as executive chair of the board, replaced as CEO by Jon Moeller on November 1, 2021 – current vice chairman and COO of P&G. Shailesh Jejurikar had also been elected to take on the COO position, effective from October 1, 2021.
Taylor told analysts: “These moves have been thoughtfully planned and provide P&G with highly capable and experienced leadership going forward. I truly have full confidence and strongly support these changes.”
He added that Moeller had a “distinguished track record” at P&G and had been central to the design of how many parts of the business operated today, including productivity and portfolio management.
As P&G moved forward into the next fiscal year, he said these would remain key along with three core focuses: ensuring the health and safety of colleagues worldwide during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis; maximizing the availability of products across the globe; and supporting the communities, relief agencies and people at the frontline of the global pandemic.
FY'22 growth in a ‘forever-altered’ market
P&G said fiscal 2022 guidance outlined an all-in sales growth of 2-4%, with another year of “strong cash return” to shareholders. However, Taylor said future business success would not be without its challenges.
“We will serve what will likely become a forever-altered cleaning, health and hygiene focus for consumers who use our products daily or multiple times each day,” he said. “There may be a continued increased focus on home – more time at home, more meals at home with related consumption impacts. The importance of noticeably superior performance potentially grows. There is potential for increased preference for established, reputable brands that solve newly framed problems better than alternatives; potentially less experimentation; potential for a lasting shift to e-commerce, both e-tailers and omnichannel. Our experience to date makes us believe we are generally well-positioned in this environment.”