Consumer products heavyweight
Procter & Gamble
reported solid gains in third-quarter earnings, sales and unit volume Monday, saying a brisk business in its healthcare segment and various overseas markets helped offset the negative impact of a restructuring charge.
The Cincinnati company said it earned $1.27 billion, or 91 cents a share, on sales of $10.66 billion, compared with $1.04 billion, or 74 cents a share, on sales of $9.90 billion last year. The latest quarter includes a restructuring charge of $66 million, or 5 cents a share; before that, earnings were $1.34 billion, or 96 cents a share, matching analysts' forecasts.
The sales gain, which came out to 8%, included 3 percentage points of improvement related to foreign exchange translation, and 2 percentage points of constriction related to acquisitions and divestiture. Unit volume grew 7% from a year ago, reflecting double-digit growth in health care products, and continued strong results in Asia and Eastern Europe. Excluding acquisitions and divestitures, unit volume grew 8% year-over-year.
For the fourth quarter, which ends in June, P&G expects earnings before restructuring items to be up 12% from last year, when it earned 77 cents a share. Analysts were expecting fourth-quarter earnings of 85 cents. The company expects volume to increase by 5% to 7% despite a difficult comparison. Net sales are expected to rise by a percentage in the mid to high single digits from a year ago.
Separately, P&G said it raised its offer for preference shares of Wella AG, the German shampoo company it recently agreed to buy, after investors raised concerns about the size of the bid. Specifically, it raised its bid by 3.50 euros to 65 euros per share.