P&G's Sales Rise, Helped by Slimmer Beauty Portfolio

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Procter & Gamble Co. said its sales and adjusted earnings grew in the most recent quarter as the company tries to refresh its staple brands.

The company, which makes Tide laundry products, Dawn dish soap and Charmin tissue, also raised the high end of it annual earnings per share outlook by a percentage point due to the newly enacted tax legislation.

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Overall the company reported a net benefit of $135 million from a reduced tax rate and a net charge of $628 million for repatriating its overseas profits.

Organic sales, a closely watched metric that strips out currency moves, acquisitions and divestitures, rose 2%.

P&G's decision to streamline its beauty business by selling the bulk of it to Coty Inc. in 2016 helped organic sales in the segment to jump 9% -- the largest margin among company segments -- during the quarter. The company said revamped products in the health-care business helped grow sales 4%. Organic sales in the grooming segment fell 3% as the company cut prices to compete with newer upstarts in the shaving market.

In recent quarters the consumer giant has said it was puzzled by sluggish consumer spending on household staples like paper towels and shampoo and has been trying to spiff up its products to spur sales.

P&G has also been trying to curb a dangerous social-media trend in which teens consume highly toxic Tide Pods detergent product for likes and shares. Concerns over Tide Pods, small packs of concentrated liquid detergent, have pestered the company since their launch in 2012, but the recent viral videos have sounded fresh alarm bells.

In all for its second quarter the Cincinnati-based company reported earnings of $2.5 billion, or 93 cents a share, down from a profit of $7.88 billion, or $2.88 a share, a year earlier. The prior year's quarter included a benefit from a divestiture. On an adjusted basis, earnings rose 10% to $1.19 per share.

Revenue rose 3.2% to $17.4 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of $1.14 a share on $17.39 billion in sales.

Shares edged 1.3% lower to $90.66 during premarket trading. The stock has risen 5.7% over the past 12 months.

Write to Imani Moise at imani.moise@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 23, 2018 08:17 ET (13:17 GMT)

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