Overall group sales for the quarter were down 6.7% to $1.06bn, while net earnings were down from $112.0m in the corresponding period last year, to reach $87.0m. Full year sales were down 2.2% to $4.46bn, while net earnings for the year were up at $438.0m, compared to $407.5m in 2012.
“Operationally, we made significant progress with our enterprise-wide restructuring project, which helped drive bottom line growth and enabled us to make investments in our businesses,” said Ward Klein, chief executive offer.
Restructuring positively impacts bottom line
Klein’s claims regarding bottom line growth were backed up by the fact that fiscal net earnings for the full year 2013 were up 4.0% to $6.47 per share.
In the personal care division, net were up by 0.4% to $592.5m for the quarter, while full year sales rose by 1.2% to $2.44bn.
Organic net sales in personal care for the quarter were up by 2.7%, growth that was driven by gains in wet shave and feminine care, which was partially offset by declines in infant and skin care.
Personal care set to buoy the business in 2014
"Looking toward fiscal 2014, integrating the recently acquired feminine care brands, restoring top-line growth in Personal Care, expanding distribution in Household Products, and continuing to execute against the restructuring and working capital projects will remain top priorities,” Klein said.
The company is expecting that personal care sales will return top-line growth, but this will be counterbalanced by an under performance from the company’s household products division.
“Our initial financial outlook range for adjusted net earnings per diluted share is $7.25 to $7.50, representing mid single-digit growth versus a record fiscal 2013," Klein said.