For the first six months of 2006, sales of $8.2 billion were up about 4% from $7.9 billion in the prior year, as a result of a more than 2% increase in sales volumes, improvements of more than 1% in both net selling prices and product mix, partially offset by negative currency effects of less than 1%. Year-to-date operating profit totalled $965 million.
According to the company, top-line growth, ongoing cost reductions, strong performance at K-C de Mexico and a lower share count all benefited these results and helped to offset significant cost inflation, a higher effective tax rate and incremental compensation expense for stock options.
Chairman and CEO Thomas Falk said, "We delivered on our commitments again this quarter in a challenging, inflationary business environment. K-C teams continued to execute our Global Business Plan well, boosting sales to a new quarterly high while simultaneously lowering costs by about $50 million through our FORCE (Focused On Reducing Costs Everywhere) and strategic cost reduction programs."
In the personal care products sector, sales climbed 7.1% in the second quarter, driven primarily by sales volume growth of approximately 6%, along with currency benefits of 1%. Net selling prices were essentially even with the prior year.