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All eyes on P&G for its annual shareholders meeting

By Simon Pitman , 09-Oct-2012
Last updated on 09-Oct-2012 at 17:36 GMT

With Procter & Gamble executives under pressure to perform like never before, the company’s annual shareholders meeting focuses on how its plans to turn around a lack luster performance.

The presentation got under way in Cincinnati this morning at 9am EST and featured key members of the executive board, who were present to answer questions from shareholders and to convey the company’s plans on how to turn around the business.

Heading the executive board and playing key parts in the presentations made to the assembled shareholders were Robert McDonald, CEO, Jon Moeller, CFO and Deborah Majoras, chief legal secretary.

The meeting started off with a chairman’s address by McDonald who acknowledged the fact that the company is in the process of restructuring the business through a $10bn productivity program, in an effort to improve the financial performance.

A 'simple and focused' plan

“Our plan, as you can see, is decisive, simple and focused. Grow our core and win with innovation fueled by productivity. It’s a plan that has the support of our board of directors, the commitment of our leadership team and the full engagement of Procter & Gamble people all over the world,” said McDonald

McDonald explained that the plan will emphasize the company’s 40 largest businesses, top 20 innovations, top 10 developing and new markets, alongside its restructuring plan.

He also stressed the fact that a significant cost saving program was announced in May of this year and said that he expected this would prove pivotal to turning the company’s performance around, adding that the program is expected to improve the financial performance of the business in the coming year.

In parallel to this, the continued roll out of new product innovations should ensure that the company can secure long term revenue growth at between one and two percent above average market growth rates.

'Discontinuous innovation'

Referring specifically to innovation, McDonald said that the company was committed to ‘discontinuous innovation’, which he explained was the concept of developing new products that make existing ones obsolete, thus creating new categories and brands.

In his chairman's address, Moeller pointed out that the continued revenue growth and cost savings should translate into enhanced profitability, which for the coming financial year should translate into EPS Growth in high single digit to low double digit growth rates.

The presentation then gave way to a shareholders question and answer session, in which the executive board was questioned on a series of issues, including outsourcing of the company’s operations to Singapore, temporary employee contracts and shareholder value.

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