US: P&G Tops Expectations With Strong Q4

Procter & Gamble has reported better-than-expected growth for its fiscal fourth quarter, and said it expects further improvement in the current fiscal year.

For the three months to 30 June, sales were down 2.7% to $16.1bn, the eighth straight quarter they have fallen, but higher than what analysts were expecting. Net profit, meanwhile, more than tripled to $1.95bn, largely due to the lack of a one-off charge related to its Venezuela business last year.

The group said its results were helped by higher demand, the sale of non-core brands, and improved results in key markets such as China.

For the fiscal year ending June 2017, the group now expect sales to grow by 1%, with underlying sales forecast to grow by 2%.  It also expects to benefit immediately from its plan to save up to $10bn over the next five years, adding that it will invest a significant portion of the savings to drive revenue growth.

P&G also revealed that it will increase advertising spending this year, with most of it going towards in-store programmes and trials.  It will also push more promotions to attract customers new to certain categories, such as boys who are beginning to shave.