The Procter & Gamble Co. sees recession-pinched households responding to price cuts, promotions and new versions of its products, as the maker of Pampers diapers and Gillette shavers says its sales are growing.
The Cincinnati-based company reported Thursday that sales rose 6 percent for its second quarter, a turnaround from sales slumps amid the recession. Its profit slid 7 percent on a lower gain from selling business lines.
The world's largest consumer products maker said it earned $4.66 billion, or $1.49 per share, with sales of $21 billion. Earnings got a 47-cent boost from the sale of P&G's prescription drug business.
Analysts expected $1.40 a share on $21.07 billion in sales.
P&G said organic sales — a key gauge that excludes acquisitions, currency fluctuations and other such effects — were up 5 percent. The company had forecast organic sales to grow 2 to 5 percent in quarter, and Thursday raised its full-year forecast by 1 percent to a range of 3 to 5 percent for that measure.
Profit fell from $5 billion a year ago, when earnings were boosted 63 cents a share by P&G's sale of Folgers coffee.
P&G reported that net income from the businessses it has kept rose 12 percent, from $2.8 billion in last year's second quarter to $3.1 billion.
P&G and other big-brand companies have been trying to counter shoppers trading down to store brands and household belt-tightening.
P&G is using pricing, promotions and innovation to revitalize sales, cutting prices on some products and introducing lower-tier versions of others, while rolling out premium products such as Tide anti-stain laundry additives. During the second quarter, P&G cut the price of Cheer detergent and began offering it as a bargain brand.
It was the second straight quarter with better-than-expected earnings under CEO Bob McDonald, who took over July 1 and added the chairman's title Jan. 1.
"Our investments in innovation, portfolio expansion, marketing support and consumer value are working," McDonald said Thursday in a statement.
P&G stuck to full-year earnings expectations of $4.02 to $4.12 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect, on average, $4.12 a share. For its third quarter, ending in March, P&G forecast earnings of 77 cents to 82 cents a share, compared with analysts' expectations of 85 cents.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.