Attributes Earnings Success to Jump in Sales

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CINCINNATI (ADAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co.'s earnings growth in the current quarter will rise at the high end of analyst expectations, in part because of better-than-expected sales, the company said today.

The marketer also confirmed for the first time that it will roll out its Pampers Baby Stages of Development line into North America in February.

Despite the impact of the events of Sept. 11, P&G said it now expects both volume and sales in its fiscal second quarter, ending Dec. 31, to increase at the upper end of the 1% to 3% range projected last month, and earnings to rise at the high end of the previously projected low- to mid-single-digit increase.

About half of the earnings improvement comes from P&G's sale of part of its equity stake in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals last month.

European campaign
The Financial Times reported Monday what could be one factor behind P&G's improved second-quarter sales: heavier-than-usual promotions in Europe this month aimed at encouraging consumers to lay in supplies ahead of what the company anticipates will be the disruptive effect of introducing the Euro currency in January.

But P&G said its sales improvements are occuring across all regions of the globe.

The company also pointed to a slew of new product initiatives on tap for the second half of its fiscal year, which ends June 30, including the North American launch of a new version of its Crest Spinbrush power brush with replaceable heads, its Torengos brand of canned tortilla chips and its Thermacare disposable pain-relieving heat wraps.

The first-half lineup appears to be a boon for Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, which handles those three brands and Pampers.

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