Procter & Gamble posts fourth-quarter results

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble announced on Friday double-digit growth in fourth-quarter net sales and earnings.

Net sales for the quarter rose 10% to $20.9 billion. Organic sales, which exclude the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign exchange, grew 5% for the quarter.

Net earnings totaled $2.5 billion, or 84 cents per diluted share, compared with $2.2 billion, or 71 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

In beauty, net sales rose 7% to $5.1 billion, on 1% volume growth. Organic volume, which excludes the net impact of Zest, Infasil and minor fragrance divestures, increased 2% and organic sales grew 3%. Volume growth was driven by high single-digit growth in developing regions, while volume in developed regions was down mid-single digits.

Volume in retail hair care grew low single digits behind initiative activity and distribution expansions in Asia, Latin America and Western Europe, partially offset by a double-digit decline in North America because of the Pantene restage in the base period, P&G said.

Volume in female beauty grew low single digits as Olay skin care distribution expansion in Asia and Central Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) was partially offset by a low single-digit decline in developed markets driven by the Zest and Infasil divestitures, competitive activity in North America cosmetics and decreased shipments in North America skin because of the Olay UV line reformulation.

In the grooming segment, net sales rose 7% to $2.1 billion on a 1% increase in volume. Organic sales increased 1%. Price increases added 2% to net sales growth behind blades and razors price increases across all regions and inflationary pricing in Latin America. Volume growth was driven by mid-single-digit growth in developing regions, which was partially offset by a mid-single-digit decline in developed regions.

Volume in male grooming increased low single digits, primarily due to growth of blades and razors in developing regions — particularly Latin America and Asia — partially offset by a decline in developed markets due to the base period impacts of the U.S. Fusion ProGlide launch, the company said.