P&G says 1Q profit rises 9%

CINCINNATI – Consumer products maker Procter & Gamble Co. said Wednesday that profit rose nearly 9 percent in its fiscal first quarter, boosted by strong growth in emerging markets.

But P&G dropped the low end of its earnings guidance for the full fiscal year by 3 cents, saying that reflects volatility in commodity and energy markets and in foreign exchange.

The maker of such household products as Tide detergent, Pampers diapers, and Olay skin care said net income rose to more than $3.3 billion, or $1.03 per share, from $3.1 billion, or 92 cents a share, a year earlier.

P&G said sales rose 9 percent to $22 billion, led by double-digit growth in emerging markets. It has been increasingly looking to developing economies such as China, India and Brazil for sales growth.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected 98 cents on revenue of $21.8 billion.

The company now projects earnings per share, including an estimated 50 cents a share gain from its divestiture of Folgers Coffee minus restructuring charges of 12 cents per share, in a range of $4.15 to $4.25. The earlier range started at $4.18.

Analysts are projecting $4.17 for the year.

P&G has been battling trade-down tendencies among budget-strapped U.S. consumers by adding new versions of household products such as Tide detergent and Gillette shavers and emphasizing in commercials that people get more value from its products, such as Charmin toilet paper it says is more absorbent than that of its competitors.

"This quarter was yet another example of the strength of P&G's balanced brand and geographic portfolio," A.G. Lafley, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "We continue focusing on leading innovation and improving productivity to deliver superior consumer and shareholder value."

Among brands with double-digit sales growth for the quarter were Gillette Fusion shavers, Head & Shoulders shampoo, Gain detergent, and Cover Girl and SK-II cosmetics.