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(June 15, 2001) -- Procter & Gamble Co. will phase out its Olay cosmetics line, scale back new product plans in some fabric and home-care categories and scale back global expansion plans in bath tissue and paper towels outside of the U.S. and Europe as part of a restructuring of its product portfolio, the company announced today.

Publicis Group's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York and London, handle the Olay cosmetics brand in the U.S. and Europe. In cosmetics, P&G will continue to focus on what it termed "the successful, profitable Cover Girl and Max Factor businesses."

Overall, P&G will continue to focus on four core categories, including baby care, laundry, feminine care and hair care, along with what President-CEO A.G. Lafley termed "faster-growing, higher-margin, asset-efficient businesses," in a conference with financial analysts in New York today.

P&G Chief Financial Officer Clayton Daley also told analysts that the marketer will discontinue the Fit produce rinse brand in the U.S. and scale back the Dryel home dry cleaning brand to North America only.

Mr. Lafley also said P&G would roll out the Thermacare disposable heat wrap brand nationally at retail in the U.S. in the fiscal year that starts in July, from its current limited distribution through health professionals and Internet sales. -- Jack Neff

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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