P&G Profit Tops Estimates on Cost Reductions, Razor Sales

Procter & Gamble Co., the world’s largest consumer-products maker, reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by cost reductions and an increase in razor prices.

Profit, excluding some items such as restructuring expenses, was 95 cents a share, the Cincinnati-based company said today in a statement. Earnings topped the 91-cent average of predictions compiled by Bloomberg.

A.G. Lafley, who returned as P&G’s chief executive officer last year, has focused on cutting costs and regaining customers in areas such as detergents and beauty. New products have also been part of his strategy: P&G introduced the Fusion ProGlide razor to help boost sales in a category that has suffered as men sought scruffier looks.

P&G rose 2 percent to $78.85 in early trading. The shares had dropped 5 percent this year through yesterday.

Sales declined 1 percent to $20.2 billion in the period ended June 30. Analysts projected $20.5 billion, the average of 20 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

For the current year, the company forecast profit growth in the “mid-single” digits in percentage terms. Organic sales will grow in the “low-to-mid single” digits, it said.

Lafley, who replaced Bob McDonald as CEO after P&G lost market share and trailed competitors in sales growth, is also re-evaluating P&G’s portfolio of businesses and this year agreed to sell most of its pet-food operations.

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