Kimberly-Clark reported third quarter net sales declined 3% to $5.2 billion while net income per share increased to $1.30 from $1.09. Organic sales increased 3% thanks to a good performance by K-C International as well as success in several new product innovations. Within the personal care segment, sales increased 1% to $2.4 billion as volumes increased 4%. Operating profit increased 10% to $436 million.
Sales in North America were even with year-ago levels. Net selling prices rose 2%, driven by improved revenue realization for Huggies diapers, while overall sales volumes decreased 2%. Adult care volumes advanced low-single digits, including benefits from the introduction of the Poise feminine wellness line-up. Sales increased 2% in K-C International, despite a 9-point drag from changes in currency rates. Sales volumes were up 9%, with high-single digit to low-double digit growth in each major region—Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East/Eastern Europe/Africa. Volume performance was strong in a number of markets, including Brazil, China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Venezuela. Overall net-selling prices improved 2% compared to the year-ago period, driven by increases in Latin America.
Sales in Europe decreased 2%, including an unfavorable currency impact of 11%. Sales volumes rose 9%, mostly due to growth in non-branded offerings and Huggies baby wipes. In announcing the results, K-C also revealed a plan to exit the baby diaper market in much of Western and Eastern Europe.