Pandemic-driven cleaning routines boost P&G sales forecast again

Net sales rose 8% to $19.75B

Procter & Gamble Co raised its full-year sales forecast for a second time on Wednesday as the consumer products giant benefited from a sustained high level of demand for its home care and cleaning products due to the COVID-19 pandemic.CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

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The company’s shares rose 1% before the opening bell after the Cincinnati-based conglomerate also said it would buy back up to $10 billion worth of shares in fiscal 2021, compared to $7 billion to $9 billion it expected earlier.

Signage outside Procter & Gamble corporate headquarters in downtown Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Households have continued to clean their homes and wash their clothes more frequently and have also shown their willingness to pay for more premium brands over store-branded goods at a time when COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in the United States, P&G’s biggest market.

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Shoppers splurged on everything from Downy laundry beads to Swiffer mops and surface cleaners, the company said, sending organic sales in its fabric and home care division up 12% in the second quarter.

Home care products in particular saw a 30% rise in organic sales, in line with trends seen in the first quarter.

Overall, net sales rose 8% to $19.75 billion in the three months to Dec. 31, beating analysts’ average estimate of $19.27 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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Net income attributable to P&G rose 4% to $3.85 billion, or $1.47 per share. Excluding items, it earned $1.64 per share.

Expecting an upswing in consumption, the company raised its fiscal 2021 sales growth forecast to a range of 5% to 6%, compared with 3% to 4% expected earlier.

It also hiked its core earnings per share growth forecast to 8% to 10%, from 5% to 8%, and said organic sales are now expected to grow 5% to 6%, compared with the 4% to 5% it anticipated earlier for the year.