Updated with comments from Jim Cramer.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Beards are back in vogue, and that trend plus declining shaving by women are putting a big dent in Procter & Gamble's (PG) lucrative grooming business.
Procter & Gamble (PG), the world's largest consumer products company, reported Thursday that sales and profits in its grooming segment plunged 18% and 32%, respectively in its fiscal fourth quarter. The segment's dull performance was by far the worst of any of P&G's business lines during the quarter.
"The number of times some men are shaving is decreasing," acknowledged a P&G spokeswoman in an email to TheStreet.
In a PowerPoint presentation on its quarterly earnings call, execs pointed out that the grooming segment's quarterly organic net sales and volume each declined by 7%. Sales in developed markets dropped by a high-single-digit percentage, and by a mid-single-digit percentage in developing markets.
P&G did not provide exact sales percentage changes by product line, just ranges. The grooming segment made up about 10% of P&G's annual sales in fiscal 2015, but 20% of its profits, reflecting the high margins on razors and blades.
The sluggish sales in P&G's grooming business were particularly disappointing following what appeared to be a successful launch of the Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor for men and the Venus Swirl for women in the company's third fiscal quarter. Also in the third quarter, P&G's Braun unit unveiled its new Series 9 cordless electric trimmer, which costs over $400.
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The deceleration in sales growth for the important P&G grooming business speaks to several big trends confronting razor manufacturers.
One is, as P&G says, that men are shaving their faces less frequently, reducing the need to purchase more razors and replacement blades. On the other hand, they are increasingly shaving other areas of their body, a trend that P&G is encouraging.
"Men are also shaving more than their face today, with a clear move to grooming the entire body -- and we have products to meet those needs," said the P&G spokeswoman.
Gillette's Web site offers men short videos to watch on "manscaping," or how to shave other parts of the body beside their faces. Given the lackluster sales in the razor category in the fourth quarter, however, it appears not all men have warmed up to full-body shaving.