PROCTER & Gamble quarterly profits soared past expectations as the world's largest household products maker used higher prices and new products to drive sales growth.
The results, along with improved forecasts for the fiscal year, follow months of criticism and pushed shares up to a three and a half year high. P&G earned £2.5bn up from £1bn a year earlier on sales up 2% to £14bn.
The results, with profit and sales ahead of analysts' expectations, come after months of efforts by P&G to reignite growth in sluggish markets such as the United States while also expanding in emerging markets, where it typically sells lower-priced merchandise. Profit has exceeded analysts' expectations every quarter since, but P&G’s profits still lag those of British rival Unilever.
P&G's organic sales, which strip out the impact of divestitures and foreign exchange, grew 3% in the latest quarter, while Unilever posted 6.9% sales growth on Wednesday. P&G's rivals such as Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive and Kimberly-Clark have all done well in recent years while Procter struggled.
P&G has seen a $10bn restructuring and other changes, including cutting 5,500 non-manufacturing jobs through December, near its goal of reducing by 5,700 by the end of June.