By Nathalie Tadena
Procter & Gamble Co.'s (PG) fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 7.6% as the world's largest consumer-products company posted slight revenue growth and a decline in overhead costs.
Core earnings, however, slipped from the year-earlier period.
P&G Chief Executive A.G. Lafley came out of retirement for a second stint at the CEO role in May after the company took a series of stumbles under predecessor Bob McDonald. Since returning to P&G, Mr. Lafley has focused on improving P&G's core business and improving its lagging beauty business, which generates nearly $20 billion in sales. In the latest period, the beauty segment's organic sales were up 1%.
P&G has been cutting costs and eliminating jobs to catch up with its rivals' productivity levels and help fund the development and introduction of new products, ranging from unit-dose Tide Pods laundry detergent to thicker Bounty paper towels.
"We have good market share momentum, a number of strong innovations coming to market over the balance of the year, and cost savings from productivity efforts that will continue to build," Mr. Lafley said Friday.
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, P&G reported a profit of $3.03 billion, or $1.04 a share, up from $2.81 billion, or 96 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding special items such as restructuring expenses, core earnings slipped to $1.05 a share from $1.06 a year ago
Sales were up 2.2% to $21.21 billion. Organic sales, which strip out currency movements and the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, rose 4%. Unit volume also increased 4%.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of $1.05 a share and revenue of $21.04 billion.
Gross margin narrowed to 49% from 50.1%. Selling, general and administrative expenses slipped 3%.
Shares of the company, which reiterated its full-year guidance, were up by 9 cents to $80.70 premarket. The stock is up 19% year-to-date.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 25, 2013 07:26 ET (11:26 GMT)Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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