Procter & Gamble’s sales have inched up.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2018, P&G posted almost $2.9 billion in net earnings, a 5 percent year-over-year increase. P&G posted $16.7 billion in net sales, a 1 percent increase from the prior-year period. The business also posted 1 percent organic sales growth. Diluted net earnings per share were $1.06, a 10 percent increase from the first quarter for fiscal 2017.
“First quarter sales and earnings results were in line with our going-in expectations and keep us on track to deliver our targets for the fiscal year,” said David Taylor, P&G chief executive officer. “We delivered organic sales growth in a decelerating global market and against a relatively strong base period. Market share trends continue to improve, with more of our top brands and countries holding or growing share. Looking forward, we will drive innovation, productivity and organization transformation to accelerate top-line growth while further expanding our industry-leading profit margins.”
Beauty sales were up 5 percent from the prior-year period, driven by growth in China and acceleration of luxury skin-care brand SK-II. Hair care organic sales increased in the low single digits due to increased pricing driven by product innovation, P&G said.
Grooming sales dipped 6 percent in the quarter because of lower sales in shave care, which was partially offset by growth in appliances, the company said. P&G said organic sales in shave care decreased in the high double digits because of price reduction in the U.S. and a “negative product mix.”
In grooming, P&G has faced increased competition from startups like Dollar Shave Club (now part of Unilever) and Harry’s, which is now sold at Target in addition to its owned channels. Edgewell also launched a razor replacement it touts as “compatible with Gillette, Fusion and Mach3 razor handles” and is sold online.
P&G’s financial results come as the business awaits certified results from its Oct. 10 shareholder meeting — which will determine if activist investor Nelson Peltz will get a board seat. P&G says preliminary numbers aren’t enough to get him on the board, but Peltz and his firm, Trian Fund Management, have contested that finding.