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Procter & Gamble Profit, Sales Jump

The Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) on Tuesday posted jumps in net sales and profit in its fiscal fourth quarter and 2008, as demand for the company's products remained strong amid the economic downturn.

For the fourth quarter ended in June, P&G recorded net earnings of $3 billion, or 92 cents a diluted share, a jump of 37% from the year-ago period. The company posted net sales of $21.3 billion, a jump of 10%. Excluding net tax benefits, the company earned an adjusted 80 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted a profit of 78 cents a share on sales of $21.05 billion.

For the full year, the consumer products maker earned $12.1 billion, or $3.64 a diluted share, a jump of 20%. The company posted net sales of $83.5 billion. Excluding net tax benefits, P&G earned an adjusted $3.50 a share. Analysts had forecast a profit of $3.50 a share on sales of $83.29.

"Once again, P&G delivered top and bottom line growth at or above the company's targets -- while also successfully completing the integration of Gillette," said Chairman and CEO A.G. Lafley in a company statement. "We're leading innovations across the brand portfolio, building value for consumers and customers which is critical to delivering good results in a difficult economic environment. The strength of the portfolio and our focus on innovation and productivity give us confidence that we will continue to deliver sustained growth in the coming year and beyond."

For the first quarter of fiscal 2009, ending at the end of September, P&G sees organic sales growth of between 4% and 6%, which would be between $21.01 billion and $21.41 billion. It expects a profit of between 98 cents and $1 a share. Analysts see a profit of $1 on sales of $21.69 billion.

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