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P&G lowers sales outlook due to inventory cut backs

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CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble has lowered its sales outlook, citing an inventory cut back by retailers, distributors and consumers in both developed and developing markets.

The company stated on Thursday that it expects to grow organic sales for the October-December quarter, but below the 4 percent to 6 percent growth range previously estimated. The company, however, did not provide a new forecast.

P&G did confirm that, while it is operating in a more volatile environment, it is on track to meet its earnings per share guidance for both the October-December quarter and fiscal year 2009. It continues to expect earnings per share of between $1.58 and $1.63 for the October-December quarter and $4.28 to $4.38 for the fiscal year.

During the 2008 Analyst Meeting on Thursday in New York City, chairman and chief executive officer A.G. Lafley noted the importance of strategic consistency and told investors that P&G?s long-term growth will be driven by a continued focus on its core fundamentals‹building and supporting leading brands; ensuring its brands are delivering consumer value; leading innovation that differentiates its brands from competitors; managing cash, cost and organizational productivity with strict discipline.

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