P&G sees higher sales in fiscal 2018; earnings up

AFP , Thursday 27 Jul 2017

Procter & Gamble reported increased quarterly profits Thursday and forecast higher sales in its next fiscal year as it sought to beat back a challenge by activist investor Nelson Peltz.

The consumer products giant, whose products include Old Spice deodorant and Charmin toilet paper, said fiscal fourth quarter profit was $2.2 billion, up 13.5 percent.

Sales were $16.1 billion, essentially flat compared with the year-ago period.

Sales of skin care and fabric care products were strong points, while net sales fell in grooming due to lower pricing of shaving gear in the United States. Competitive pressures also weighed on toothpaste and baby care.

Net sales were flat, but rose by two percent when the effect of divestitures and currency swings was removed.

"We met or exceeded each of our going-in objectives for fiscal year 2017 in a challenging macro and competitive environment," said chief executive David Taylor.

P&G has been under pressure following a campaign by activist Peltz, who announced earlier this month that he would seek a seat on the board of directors and push for deeper spending cuts.

Taylor reiterated that he is confident in the company's own strategy to ignite growth, implicitly rebuffing Peltz.

"Achieving our objectives will not only require continued focus as an organization, but also that we prevent anything from derailing the work that is delivering improvement," Taylor said. "We, as a management team and Board, are confident we have the right plan in place."

P&G projected net sales growth of about three percent for fiscal 2018, as well as core earnings per share growth of five to seven percent.

P&G shares rose 1.7 percent to $90.84 in pre-market trading.

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