Procter & Gamble Co. Profit Plunges 37%

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI (AP) - Procter & Gamble Co. said Thursday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit plunged 37 percent while its profit for the whole year dropped 29 percent.

In the three months ended June 30, P&G's net earnings dropped to $115 million from $183 million in the same period a year ago. Earnings per share for the quarter were 69 cents, down from $1.10 a year earlier.

Sales in the quarter were $3.34 billion, a 3 percent increase from $3.25 billion a year ago.

Net earnings for the fiscal year fell 29 percent to $635 million from $890 million. It was the company's first annual decline in profits since 1952.

Per-share profits for the year ended June 30 were $3.80 compared with $5.35.

The year's sales increased 5 percent to $13.5 billion from $12.9 billion.

""Needless to say, we are disappointed in the earnings results for this fiscal year. However, we believe the strategy which led to those results is correct,'' Chairman Owen B. Butler and President John G. Smale said in a joint statement.

""The only healthy way to build increased earnings is by increasing volume. Key to establishing the foundation for future volume growth has been the restructuring of our business as we expand into new and related categories of products,'' they said.

P&G executives had said previously that the company's heavy investment in new products and their marketing would hurt near-term earnings. …