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29 Jul

Price Hikes Proceed to Boost P&G – WWD

Price hikes across the board continued to spice up sales at Procter & Gamble during its fiscal fourth quarter. 

The patron goods giant, whose brands include Oral-B, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Gillette and Pampers to call just just a few, reported net sales between April and June were $20.6 billion, a rise of 5 percent versus the prior 12 months and a touch above the $20 billion forecasted by analysts polled by Factset. 

Organic sales, which exclude the impacts of foreign exchange and acquisitions and divestitures, increased 8 percent, attributable to a 7 percent increase from higher pricing as P&G, like much of the industry, continues to lift prices within the face of high inflation. Nonetheless, volume sales slipped 1 percent.

Inside that, beauty organic sales increased 11 percent. Hair care rose by high-single digits due primarily to increased pricing, but partially offset by volume declines in Asia Pacific. Skin and private care sales were up by the low teens on the back of upper prices, a positive mix from the expansion of SK-II (versus a previous 12 months period impacted by pandemic-related lockdowns) and volume growth from innovation. 

Grooming sales, meanwhile, increased 8 percent, again mainly due to rising prices, partially offset by volume declines and trade disruptions in Europe.

Diluted net earnings per share were $1.37, a rise of 13 percent and above expectations of $1.32.

The corporate reported fiscal 12 months 2023 net sales of $82 billion, up 2 percent from the prior 12 months. Diluted net earnings per share were $5.90, a rise of two percent.

“The April to June quarter provided a really strong finish to fiscal 12 months 2023 — top-line growth, bottom-line growth and money generation,” said Jon Moeller, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. “The team met or exceeded our going-in plans for sales, earnings and money in a difficult operating environment and despite significant cost headwinds.” 

P&G expects fiscal 12 months 2024 all-in sales growth within the range of three to 4 percent versus the prior 12 months. Wall Street had penciled in 4.5 percent.

During a call with analysts, chief financial officer Andre Schulten said: “As we’ve said in each guidance outlook for the past three years, and as Jon indicated, we’ll undoubtedly experience more volatility within the fiscal 12 months ahead. And while supply chains and input costs have turn out to be more stable as we enter fiscal 2024, the challenges we face are multifaceted, economic, geopolitical and societal putting pressure on consumer confidence and household budgets.”

Nevertheless, the corporate still appears to be very open to acquisitions, especially on the skincare front.

Answering an issue from an analyst, Moeller said: “We now have said that from a portfolio standpoint, there are two categories that we’re most involved in from an acquisition standpoint, albeit in a really disciplined way. And people are the identical two categories where we’ve been making smaller acquisitions. Those two categories are personal health care and skincare.”

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