Leading consumer product maker Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH, announced strong top- and bottom-line growth for the January-March 2007 quarter. Sales in the fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31, rose 8% to $18.7 billion from $17.2 billion in the year-earlier period. The company expects total sales to increase 11%-12% for the year.
P&G achieved a 14% rise in quarterly earnings stemming from higher sales of health products and razors. According to P&G, income rose to $2.5 billion from $2.2 billion a year earlier. Profit was in line with forecasts and the company raised its full-year earnings forecast on the strong quarterly sales.
For the first nine months of the fiscal year, net sales increased 14% to $57.2 billion from $50.4 billion. Year-to-date net earnings were up 19% at $8.1 billion compared to $6.8 billion a year ago.
“Strong results this quarter were driven by the growth of P&G’s leading brands, Gillette synergy benefits and continued cost discipline,” said chief executive, A. G. Lafley. "Sales growth was at the top end of our long-term target range in a very competitive environment. These results give us confidence to improve our EPS outlook for the fiscal year."
In the Baby Care and Family Care sector, net sales increased 10% to $3.27 billion during the quarter. Unit volume grew 8% with high single-digit growth on both Baby Care and Family Care. Baby Care volume growth was broad-based, led by double-digit growth in developing regions. In developed regions, Baby Care volume grew mid-single digits behind continued success of the Caterpillar stretch initiative on Pampers Baby Dry in North America and Western Europe. Pricing in North America Family Care added one point to segment sales growth but was more than offset by a negative 2% mix impact. Net earnings in Baby Care and Family Care increased 17% during the quarter to $382 million despite higher pulp costs behind volume scale leverage and reduced marketing and overhead costs as a percentage of net sales.