Pandemic boosts cleaning supply sales for Procter and Gamble

There’s some good news for Proctor and Gamble. 

On Oct. 20, the Cincinnati-based provider of household goods like toothpaste, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies reported a nine percent bump in its first-quarter earnings. 

Sales for the company soared as North American consumers rushed to purchase more cleaning supplies and laundry items during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We delivered another strong quarter of organic sales growth, core earnings per share and cash returned to shareowners, enabling us to increase our outlook for fiscal year results,” said David Taylor, P&G’s chairman, president, and CEO. “Our near-term priorities continue to be employee health and safety, maximizing availability of P&G products for consumers around the world, and helping society meet the challenges of the COVID crisis.”

In the last quarter, P&G sales reached nearly $19 billion, beating expectations by a billion. Organic revenue also saw a boost of around nine percent in the previous quarter. 

Speaking to CNBC, the company’s COO and CFO, Jon Moeller, explained that all five segments saw significant growth in organic sales. Despite pay cuts and the uncertainty of another coronavirus stimulus package, customers refused to opt for cheaper brands. 

According to P&G’s press release, its home care segment, which includes cleaning products Mr. Clean, Tide, and Comet, saw some of the most substantial growth. Organic sales skyrocket by nearly 30 percent as demand for cleaning products soared. 

Health care, beauty, and grooming products also saw a boost. 

Sales for health care products, such as Crest toothpaste, Pepto-Bismol, and Oral B, jumped by 12 percent. The company’s beauty segment saw growth in the seven percent range after the launch of Safeguard hand soap and hand sanitizer. 

Despite the rise of the “quarantine beard,” grooming products saw a six percent jump from last year. Boosts in women’s razor sales have offset the decreasing demand for shaving products from men. 

Baby, health, and family care products, such as Pampers diapers, Charmin toilet paper, and Bounty paper towels, saw a four percent growth in organic sales. 

P&G has expressed plans to increase its advertising spending in hopes of reaching more customers. 

During the fiscal year 2021, the company anticipates organic revenue to rise by four to five percent, an increase from previous expectations of two to four percent. Sales growth is expected to grow between three and four percent, up from prior forecasts of one to three percent. 

“It’s a continuation of strong momentum. This isn’t a flash in a pan,” Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said to Bloomberg. “I don’t see any reason that we shouldn’t be able to sustain strong results.”

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