P&G's fiscal year 'off to a good start' as Q1 net sales climb

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble delivered “strong” first-quarter sales growth, kicking off a “good start to the fiscal year” as net sales climbed 9% and organic sales grew 4%, the company announced on Thursday.

“The first quarter was a good start to the fiscal year,” stated chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald. “We maintained strong top-line growth momentum in a difficult operating environment. We are well-positioned — due to continued top-line strength, recently implemented price increases and our productivity improvement and cost savings efforts — to improve earnings growth as we progress through the fiscal year.”

Net sales rose 9% to $21.9 billion during the quarter.

Net earnings slipped 2% to $3.02 billion, or $1.03 per diluted share, compared with $3.08 billion, in the year-ago period.

In beauty, net sales rose 9% to $5.4 billion and organic sales grew 4%. Price increases added 2% to net sales growth. Net earnings declined 12% to $731 million as lower operating margin more than offset the impact of sales growth, the company stated. Operating margin declined because of a commodity cost driven reduction in gross margin and increased marketing and research and development investments.

In grooming, net sales rose 10% to $2.1 billion and organic sales rose 3%. Price increases added 2% to net sales growth. Net earnings increased 10% to $438 million, in line with net sales growth.

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