Pandemic-driven cleaning routines boost P&G sales forecast again

Business

The company’s shares rose 1% before the opening bell after the Cincinnati-based conglomerate also said it would buy back up to $10 billion worth of shares in fiscal 2021, compared to $7 billion to $9 billion it expected earlier.

Households have continued to clean their homes and wash their clothes more frequently and have also shown their willingness to pay for more premium brands over store-branded goods at a time when COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in the United States, P&G’s biggest market.

Shoppers splurged on everything from Downy laundry beads to Swiffer mops and surface cleaners, the company said, sending organic sales in its fabric and home care division up 12% in the second quarter.

Home care products in particular saw a 30% rise in organic sales, in line with trends seen in the first quarter.

Overall, net sales rose 8% to $19.75 billion in the three months to Dec. 31, beating analysts’ average estimate of $19.27 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income attributable to P&G rose 4% to $3.85 billion, or $1.47 per share. Excluding items, it earned $1.64 per share.

Expecting an upswing in consumption, the company raised its fiscal 2021 sales growth forecast to a range of 5% to 6%, compared with 3% to 4% expected earlier.

It also hiked 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 the 4% to 5% it anticipated earlier for the year.