Procter & Gamble enjoys surprise rise in first-quarter sales

Company posts biggest growth in five years in a key sales measure

Sales rose 5% in the consumer giant’s beauty business, driven by double-digit sales of its premium skin care brands.

Sales rose 5% in the consumer giant’s beauty business, driven by double-digit sales of its premium skin care brands.

 

Procter & Gamble reported a surprise rise in first-quarter sales on Friday on strong demand for its beauty products and cleaning supplies, helping it in its fight against competition from cheaper store-branded products.

The company’s shares were up 3.4 per cent before the opening bell. The stock has fallen 13 per cent this year, underperforming the broader consumer products index.

Sales rose 5 per cent in the consumer giant’s beauty business, driven by double-digit sales of its premium skin care brands SK-II and Olay. Sales in its fabric and home care division, the biggest unit by sales, rose 2 per cent.

The unit sells Tide detergent and Febreze air fresheners among other products. The company’s grooming business was a bright spot, seeing volume growth of 5 per cent as price cuts boosted demand.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $3.2 billion, or $1.22 per share, in the first quarter ended September 30th, from $2.85 billion, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.12 per share beating Wall Street estimate of $1.09 per share, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv. Net sales rose marginally to $16.69 billion from $16.65 billion. Analysts had expected overall sales to fall to $16.46 billion. – Reuters