Kimberly-Clark’s third quarter net sales increased 1.3% to $5 billion. Organic sales rose 1%, driven by higher sales volumes of 1%, while net selling prices were even with year-ago levels. The I-Flow Corp. acquisition completed in 2009 added an additional point of sales growth, while changes in foreign currency rates reduced sales by 1%. The growth in organic sales volumes was highlighted by a 5% gain for the company’s personal care business, with broad-based strength in most regions of the world. However, volumes declined in the company’s K-C Professional business and in K-C’s operations in Venezuela.
In the third quarter, sales of personal care products increased 2.4% compared with the third quarter of 2009. Although sales volumes rose more than 5% and changes in currency rates provided a slight benefit to sales, net selling prices fell about 1%, driven by a planned increase in promotional activity and changes in product mix reduced sales by approximately 1%.
Feminine care sales volumes grew at a double-digit rate for the third consecutive quarter as a result of the U by Kotex line extension. Adult care volumes also increased double-digits, with benefits from recent innovation on the Poise and Depend brands and supporting marketing campaigns. Child care volumes increased 6% in conjunction with market share gains. Huggies diaper volumes rose 1% and baby wipe volumes were even with the prior-year.
In Europe, personal care sales fell 5% in the quarter, including a negative currency effect of 9%. Sales volumes were up 6%, with mid-single digit growth in Huggies diapers and strong performance in baby wipes and child care, while changes in net selling prices reduced sales by 2%.
In developing and emerging markets, personal care sales increased 4%. Sales volumes were up 6%, spurred by strong growth in China and most of Latin America, while volumes fell significantly in Venezuela in a difficult foreign currency exchange environment. Overall net selling prices decreased 1%, as modest declines in several markets were mostly offset by increases in Venezuela. Changes in currency rates reduced sales 1%.