P&G posts first quarterly sales miss in over a year

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© Reuters. The logo for Procter & Gamble Co. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York© Reuters. The logo for Procter & Gamble Co. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) – Procter & Gamble Co (N:) on Thursday reported its first quarterly sales miss in over a year, hurt by weakness in its baby and feminine care business that sells everything from deodorants to diapers.

The owner of Pantene shampoo and Oral-B toothpaste has been investing heavily to develop new products, improve packaging and marketing as it tries to appeal to younger consumers and fight competition from Unilever (L:), Reckitt-Benckiser (L:) and local upstarts.

Sales of P&G’s fabric and home care products rose 4% to $5.79 billion, while baby and feminine products rose 1% to $4.58 billion, both falling short of estimates.

Net sales rose 4.6% to $18.24 billion, slightly below the average analyst estimate of $18.37 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net earnings attributable to P&G rose to $3.72 billion, or $1.41 per share, in the second quarter ended Dec. 31, from $3.19 billion, or $1.22 per share, a year earlier.

The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company’s shares were down 1.4% in trading before the opening bell.

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