CINCINATTI: Procter & Gamble, the planet's biggest advertiser, saw its earnings fall by 7% to $3 billion (€2.4bn; £2.1bn) in the last quarter, the first such decline it has experienced since 2001. It has also now cut its full-year profit forecasts.
The company's total organic sales volume fell by 3% to $20.4bn in the last quarter, with commodity costs, the strength of the dollar and retailer cutbacks said to be the major factors behind the slump.
In the US, sales of higher-end products such as its detergent brand Tide and Pampers diapers both fell, while lower-cost offerings like Gain and Luvs both saw sales increases, suggesting consumers were aiming to save money on their grocery bills.
For the year as a whole, P&G now expects to post organic sales growth of between 2% and 5%, down on the guidance figures of 4% to 6% previously predicted by chairman A G Lafley.
Despite the falling figures, Lafley said he was "pretty pleased" that the company had held or increased its market share across many categories, in some cases even where it was less competitive on price.
Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff