Procter & Gamble reported sales for the first fiscal quarter that were on par with the previous year.
P&G had net earnings of $2.76 billion for the quarter, up 5 percent year over year. Diluted net earnings per share were 96 cents, also up 5 percent from the prior-year period. Core earnings per share were $1.03, 5 cents above analyst estimates of 98 cents. Net sales were $16.5 billion for the quarter, unchanged from the prior year.
Net beauty sales declined 1 percent. Organic sales were up in the category, with a volume increase of 2 percent and organic sales increase of 3 percent. P&G called out luxury skin-care brand SK-II as a growth driver in the skin and personal care category, while it said Head & Shoulders and Pantene both had mid-single-digit organic sales growth, which was offset by declines in smaller brands. In grooming, organic sales increase low single digits in shave care and mid-single digits in appliances, the company said.
P&G is projecting 2 percent organic sales growth for 2017. Headwinds from foreign currency exchange rates and minor brand divestitures are expected to reduce sales growth by about one percentage point. Core earnings per share growth is expected to be in the mid-single digits, compared to fiscal 2016 core EPS of $3.67. The divestiture of the P&G specialty beauty portfolio to Coty Inc. earlier in October is expected to boost EPS, the company said.
“Our first quarter results mark a good start to the fiscal year,” said chairman, president and chief executive officer David Taylor. “We delivered broad-based organic sales growth improvement across product categories and markets, as well as strong cost savings. Earlier this month, we completed the last major step in P&G’s portfolio transformation with the Beauty Brands divestiture to Coty Inc. We are now focusing all our efforts on 10 large, structurally attractive categories where P&G holds leading positions. We’re pleased with the progress we’re making, but there is still more work to do to get back to the levels of balanced top- and bottom-line growth and cash generation that will consistently put P&G shareholder value creation among the best in our industry.”