For the first nine months of 2008, the company reported net earnings of $9 billion on net sales of $62.2 billion against net earnings of $8 billion on net sales of $57.2 billion for the same period last year. Earnings were driven by net sales growth, continuing focus on cost control and Gillette synergy benefits, which more than offset higher commodity costs. Operating profit margin improved 60-basis points, driving a 13% increase in operating profit.
For the 2008 fiscal year, the company expects all-in net sales to grow approximately 9% compared with the prior fiscal year. For the April-June quarter, the company expects total net sales to increase 8%-10%.
"This quarter is yet another demonstration of the power of P&G's product category and geographic diversification and disciplined focus on cash and cost productivity," said A.G. Lafley, chairman of the board and CEO. "P&G delivered strong results in-line with long-term targets in a challenging economic and competitive environment with broad-based sales and share growth, earnings growth and overhead cost improvement."