Kimberly-Clark reported $5.1 billion in net sales for fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 2%. Organic sales rose 3%, driven by higher net selling prices of 2% and improved product mix of 1%, while overall sales volumes were even with year-ago levels.
In the Personal Care segment, sales increased 2%. Sales volumes were up 2% and net selling prices rose 1%, while changes in currency rates reduced sales by 1%.
Personal care sales in North America increased 3% versus the 2009 period. Sales volumes were up 2% and net selling prices increased 1%. Feminine care volumes great at a double-digit rate for the fourth consecutive quarter as a result of the U by Kotex line extension. Adult care volumes also increased double-digits, with benefits from innovation on the Poise and Depend brands and supporting marketing campaigns. Baby wipes volumes rose at a double-digit rate, including shipments to support customer promotion activity.
Sales of health care products decreased 1% in the fourth quarter.The acquisition of I-Flow Corporation benefited sales by 5%, while organic sales volumes declined 5% and net selling prices fell 2%. The organic volume comparison was adversely affected by about 5 points due to increased demand in 2009 for face masks as a result of the H1N1 flu virus. In addition, overall North American supply volumes in 2010 were impacted by a modest slowdown in market demand. Meanwhile, organic sales volumes for medical devices rose at a high-single digit rate.
Chairman and CEO Thomas Falk said, "We achieved our earnings per share commitment for the fourth quarter of 2010 despite a continued challenging environment. Reflecting on the full year, we invested in our brands and growth opportunities, reduced costs and allocated capital in shareholder-friendly ways. Moreover, our overall market positions are strong, which bodes well for our future prospects. Looking ahead to 2011, we expect that adjusted earnings per share will grow in line with our Global Business Plan target while we continue to leverage our strong brands, bring innovations to market and pursue targeted growth initiatives. At the same time, we will continue to manage our company with financial discipline, with a strong focus on cost savings and cash generation."