Pandemic-driven cleaning routines boost P&G sales forecast again
By Siddharth Cavale and Uday Sampath Kumar (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co raised its full-year sales forecast for a second time on Wednesday as it benefited from sustained coronavirus-driven demand for cleaning products, while also warning that the pace of sales might slow as vaccines roll out. The Cincinnati-based conglomerate reported an 8% rise in net sales for its second quarter, slower than 9% growth in the first quarter but showing the boom in household cleaning purchases was continuing
By Siddharth Cavale and Uday Sampath Kumar
(Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co raised its full-year sales forecast for a second time on Wednesday as it benefited from sustained coronavirus -driven demand for cleaning products, while also warning that the pace of sales might slow as vaccines roll out.
The Cincinnati-based conglomerate reported an 8% rise in net sales for its second quarter, slower than 9% growth in the first quarter but showing the boom in household cleaning purchases was continuing.
P&G said Americans were cleaning and sanitizing 30% more than before the pandemic. Dishwasher cycles were run 15% more and air fresheners sprayed 20% more often while in-home paper towel usage was up 15%.
The company saw a 30% rise in organic sales of its home care products in the second quarter, while consumer willingness to pay for more premium brands over store-branded goods helped sales of items like Downy laundry beads and Tide pods.
P&G's shares, which rose as much as 2.5% initially, lost all those gains after executives warned that the rollout of vaccines was liable to cool those trends.
"Could there be some reduction in top line growth rates if, God-willing, the situation gets better, and therefore, I need less in my pantry as protection? Yes, that could occur," finance and operating chief Jon Moeller said.
Still, P&G raised its fiscal 2021 sales growth forecast to a range of 5% to 6%, from 3% to 4%, mainly on the back of a strong first half.
It also lifted its core earnings per share growth forecast to 8% to 10%, from 5% to 8%, and said organic sales are now expected to grow 5% to 6%, compared with 4% to 5% it anticipated earlier.
The company will also buy back up to $10 billion worth of shares in fiscal 2021, up from the $7 billion to $9 billion target it set earlier, and Moeller pointed to the likelihood of a boost from new fiscal stimulus under Joe Biden's presidency.
"It's a rather uncertain environment, but where stimulus has existed it has helped and more of it will help more," he said.
(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Patrick Graham)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply
By Christoph Steitz, Tom Käckenhoff and Arno Schuetze FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp ended talks to sell its steel division to Britain's Liberty Steel due to differences over value, the latest setback in efforts to consolidate the European sector. Liberty Steel, led by commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, last month submitted a firmed-up non-binding bid for Thyssenkrupp's steel unit, Europe's second biggest in terms of sales, which sources said included commitments to protect jobs and sites.
(Reuters) - Reddit trading lingo may filter in to Washington on Thursday when top hedge fund managers, the head of Robinhood and Roaring Kitty himself are set to give testimony before U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers.
By Stephanie Kelly NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied on Thursday, with Brent edging back from a 13-month high, after a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories supported prices, while buying spurred by a cold snap in the largest U.S. energy-producing state petered out.