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On Tuesday, Proctor & Gamble, the longtime consumer products giant, posted a rise that had been unexpected in its profit for its latest quarter as its revenue dropped less than expected amidst growth in organic sales.
During the just ended September quarter, P&G said its organic sales, a metric that is closely watched, eliminates fluctuations in currency, divestments and acquisitions, increased by 3%.
Pricing overall was flat while its volume grew 2.5%. Excluding divestitures and acquisitions, core volume was up 3%.
All five of the segments in P&G posted, improved in core volume with beauty up 2%, grooming up 3%, healthcare up 5%, homecare and fabric up 4% and feminine, baby and family care up 4%.
CEO David Taylor pointed out growth in organic sales across every product category along with strong savings in costs. He said in early October that P&G had completed its final major step in portfolio transformation by selling to Coty Inc its different brands of beauty products.
Taylor added that the company was pleased with its progress but that work remained to return to levels of growth in both its top and bottom line as well as in cash generation.
P&G has been struggling for many years to accelerate growth in sales and had been underperforming its rivals who are smaller and nimbler. However, it cut its costs and had commanded higher prices for the staples it offers from paper towels to shaving cream.
For its most recent quarter, P&G posted a $2.71 billion profit equal to 96 cents per share, which was up from last year during the same period of $2.6 billion equal to 91 cents per share.
Excluding certain items, adjusted earnings per share increased to $1.03, while revenue was 0.1% lower ending at $16.5 billion.
Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings to be 98 cents per share or flat on revenue of $16.5 billion.
Gross margin went from 50.7% to 51%.
The company confirmed its forecast in 2017 for earnings per share growth in the middle single digits from its fiscal 2016 of $3.67 per share with growth in sales of 1%.
Shares of P&G, which have increased by 5.9% during 2016, were up another 0.5% in premarket trading before the opening bell on Tuesday