P&G profits slide despite sales pick-up

PROCTER & Gamble (P&G) posted better-than-expected quarterly profits yesterday saying products as well as its strength in emerging markets helped push sales volume growth.

However, P&G said its profit fell almost seven per cent to $3.08bn (£1.9bn), or $1.02 per share, in the first quarter to 30 September, from $3.31bn, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier. Sales rose two per cent to $20.12bn, while volume rose eight per cent.

Organic sales rose four per cent in the quarter and P&G said it expected them to rise three to five per cent this quarter and four to six per cent for the full-year.

Profits were boosted by a cost cutting drive within the firm despite the slow global economy, which P&G said had led consumers to buy lower-priced products in some categories.

However, it said it still expected full-year earnings per share to be in the region of $3.91 to $4.01.

But it warned higher marketing spending and commodity costs would affect second-quarter profit.

P&G has invested in new products this year, including Pampers nappies, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor and Crest 3D White tooth-whitening strips.