Despite strong economic headwinds, Procter & Gamble Co.’s growth strategy remains on course, chairman and chief executive officer A.G. Lafley told shareholders during the company’s annual meeting Tuesday morning.
“Last year, I told you P&G is designed to grow,” he said, acknowledging that at the time few could have predicted the economy’s current beleaguered state of high gas prices, rising unemployment and declining retail and auto sales. “I am as confident today as I was a year ago,” said Lafley, adding that while it’s more difficult to grow and sustain growth today than it has been in many years, P&G’s fundamentals remain intact.
He told those in attendance that P&G’s long-term growth drivers include its portfolio of leading brands, focus on creating consumer value, cash and cost management discipline and mission for developing innovation that “delights the customer.”
“While the economic environment remains volatile and uncertain, I am confident that P&G can and will continue to prosper over the long term,” said Lafley. “We are committed to ensuring P&G will continue to be a company you can count on.”
He noted the P&G portfolio includes 24 billion-dollar brands, which range in size from $1 billion to $8 billion. “These brands are all built to last for decades — through and beyond any economic cycle,” said Lafley. “P&G has a portfolio of brands consumers rely on every day,” for laundering clothes, baby care and personal care. “These are needs that don’t go away.”
The company competes in 22 consumer products categories, and ranks number one or number two in two-thirds of those categories, according to Lafley.
He told shareholders the company’s cost discipline helps fund its research and development efforts. “Our discipline enables us to invest in the business even when the external environment is challenging.” He added that the company invests $2 billion annually on innovation, about twice the amount of its nearest consumer products competitor, according to P&G. “Innovation is our lifeblood,” he declared.
Lafley reminded shareholders of P&G’s steady performance: “Your company has grown consistently for decades.” He pointed out that the company’s sales have nearly doubled for each of the past three decades, from $10 billion in 1980 to more than $80 billion today.
During the meeting, shareholders voted against a proposal to allow shareholders an advisory vote on executive pay as well as a proposal to rotate the site of the annual meeting from the company’s headquarters in Cincinnati to other major U.S. cities.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion