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(Reuters)

P&G Posts 7% Drop in Quarterly Sales

Industries Reuters

Procter & Gamble, the maker of Tide detergent and Gillette shaving products, reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit, boosted by cost-cutting and higher selling prices.

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However, sales declined for the seventh quarter in a row as P&G shrinks its vast product portfolio to focus on faster-growing brands such as Pampers diapers and Gillette.

The company, whose shares were up slightly in premarket trading, said its cost of goods sold fell by 11 percent to $7.92 billion, while it raised prices by an average of 1 percent in the third quarter ended March 31.

P&G said it now expects full-year core earnings to fall 3-6 percent, compared with the decline of 3-8 percent decline it had estimated in January.

The company expects organic sales to be driven more by volume than pricing in the next two to four quarters, Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said on a media call.

P&G's third-quarter net revenue fell 7 percent to $15.76 billion, including a 5 percentage point negative impact from foreign exchange.

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Excluding acquisitions, divestitures and currency movements, sales rose 1 percent.

Net income attributable to P&G jumped to $2.75 billion, or 97 cents per share, from $2.15 billion, or 75 cents per share.

Excluding items, the company earned 86 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 82 cents per share and revenue of $15.81 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)