Overall the company delivered a 3% increase in organic sales, to $20.6bn, although this figure was impacted by 3% negative currency translations, which meant that net sales were level with the figure in the corresponding period last year.
However, despite the lack of dynamism in the sales results, the company said that its bottom line had been positively impacted by cost savings, which meant quarterly profits rose by 2% to $2.61bn.
Company CEO and chairman A.G. Lafley said that the results had met the company’s expectations and that it would be sticking to its full year forecasts for top- and bottom-line growth.
Product innovation and cost savings add to bottom line
“We’re operating in a slow-growth, highly competitive environment, which places even greater importance on strong innovation and productivity improvement,” said Lafley, who added that product innovation launches and cost savings from restructuring were all on target.
“We’re confident that the cumulative benefits from these innovations and productivity improvements will lead, over time, to improved value creation for consumers, customers and shareholders,” Lafley added.
In the beauty segment, organic sales were up 2%, a figure that was negatively impacted by foreign currency translations by 2%, which meant that net sales were down by 2% as a whole.
Hair care and deodorants lead the way
The company said that sales for this division were driven by the hair care, deodorant and personal cleansing categories, as well as general market growth, all of which was offset by decreases in salon professional and skin care, most in the Asia region.
In the grooming segment organic sales increased by 1% thanks to higher pricing and innovation in blades and razors and appliances, which the company said was partially offset by geography and product mix and market contraction in developed markets.
Looking ahead to the full year results, the company says it still expect to achieve organic sales growth of 3% to 4%, while overall sales growth is expected in the region of 1%, which will include a negative impact from foreign currency translations of between 2% and 3%.