Procter  Gamble Profits Drop but Beat Expectations

Procter & Gamble Profits Drop but Beat Expectations

Net earnings increased in its beauty, grooming and health care segments. But the company saw profit declines in its fabric care/home care and baby care/family care segments.

NEW YORK CITY -- Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (IW 500/12) reported a 48% drop in quarterly earnings Thursday due to an asset sale but bested expectations on higher revenues.

P&G, a component of the Dow index, said fourth-quarter net income was $1.9 billion on revenues of $20.7 billion, compared with net income in the year-ago period of $3.6 billion on revenues of $20.2 billion.

The 2012 period included profits from Pringles, which was sold by P&G to Kellogg Company. The 2013 results were also hit by some other charges, including a foreign exchange charge of 6 cents per share.

The results translated into "core" earnings of 79 cents per share, two cents higher than analyst expectations. Revenues came in about $95 million above expectations.

P&G said net earnings increased in its beauty, grooming and health care segments. But the company saw profit declines in its fabric care/home care and baby care/family care segments.

Volumes were higher in four of five segments. Pricing was unchanged compared with last year.

The current earnings period is the first since former chief executive A.G. Lafley reassumed the top post in an executive shakeup in May.

Lafley is expected to focus on cost-cutting and improving the performance of P&G's brands, many of which are considered premium products compared with offerings from rivals like Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive.

P&G forecast 2014 organic sales growth of 3%-4% and "core" earnings of growth of 5%-7%. The company anticipates somewhat lower restructuring costs in 2014 compared with 2013.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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