P&G CEO tells shareholders company is making 'solid' growth progress

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald acknowledged during the company's annual meeting on Tuesday that P&G has “work left to do to deliver the growth” shareholders expect but stressed that the company is making solid progress in fiscal year 2011 despite business and economic challenges.

“We know the road ahead is challenging. We’re operating in a very tough economic environment with high degrees of uncertainty, but we’ve been through tough periods before, and we have always stayed focused on what must be done in the present while not losing sight of what it will take to keep growing in the future. We’re maintaining that focus today. We’re not the kind of company that chases short term commodity or currency movements at the expense of our strategy, and we’re confident our strategy is right now and for the long term,” McDonald said.

For the fiscal year that ended on June 30, P&G delivered organic sales growth of 4% and core earnings per share growth of 8%, and increased the quarterly dividend by 9%.

P&G stated that innovation and expansion programs drove market share growth in businesses representing approximately 60% of global sales and four of the company’s five geographic regions. This growth was delivered despite nearly $2 billion in commodity and energy cost increases, little-to-no market growth in developed markets, political instability in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, he told shareholders.

McDonald cited four priorities for the year ahead: maintaining sales growth momentum, executing price increases with excellence, delivering high-quality operating profit growth and improving productivity in all aspects of the company.

“Innovation and portfolio expansion remain critical growth drivers and are central to fulfilling the company’s purpose of touching and improving the lives of the world’s consumers. We currently have one of the strongest innovation and global expansion programs in P&G history. And, we have a strong pipeline going forward,” McDonald said.

P&G will issue its results for the first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30 on Oct. 27.