P&G's CEO on Q1 results: 'Purpose-inspired growth strategy' is working

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble announced on Wednesday that first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations exceeded estimates and rose 5% as net sales rose 2% to $20.1 billion.

"Our first quarter was a good start to the fiscal year. We maintained our top-line momentum and delivered profitable market share growth," stated chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald. "We are confident that our purpose-inspired growth strategy — to touch and improve the lives of more consumers in more parts of the world, more completely — will continue to drive growth and create value for shareholders. While the macro-economic environment remains challenging, the solid first-quarter results demonstrate that our strategy is working."

Net sales for the July-to-September period rose 2% to $20.1 billion, as organic sales grew 4%. Volume increased 8%, with growth in all major geographic regions and 5-of-6 business segments.

Key initiatives for the quarter included the North American launches of Crest Pro-Health Clinical, Tide with Acti-Lift, Gain dishwashing liquid, Febreze Set 'n Refresh and Gucci Guilty.

In beauty, net sales were in line with the prior year period at $4.9 billion on unit volume growth of 4%. Organic sales grew 3%. Volume in female beauty grew mid-single digits, primarily behind double-digit growth of Olay. Net earnings rose 7% to $829 million.

In grooming, net sales rose 2% to $1.9 billion on a 5% increase in unit volume. Organic sales were up 6%. Male grooming volume grew mid-single digits due to higher shipments of blades and razors, mainly in developing regions, and deodorants in North America and Latin America. Net earnings increased 13% to $398 million.

In health care, net sales were in line with the prior year period at $3 billion on unit volume growth of 6%. Organic sales grew 4%. Oral care volume was up in the high single digits behind the launch of Crest Pro-Health Clinical in North America, expansion of Oral-B toothpaste in Brazil, Belgium and Holland, and the success of the Pro-Health innovation in multiple markets around the world. Net earnings declined 10% to $495 million driven by lower operating margin mainly due to higher marketing spending.

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