By DAN SEWELL
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CINCINNATI • The Procter & Gamble Co., flexing its brand strength, reported a 33 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit Tuesday as the consumer products maker battles soaring energy and commodity costs with higher prices and product improvements.
P&G said results were also helped by good growth in developing markets such as China and Russia, the weaker dollar, and cost-cutting efforts.
The maker of Tide detergent, Olay skin care and Pampers diapers said it earned $3.02 billion, or 92 cents per share, up from $2.27 billion, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding tax benefits, P&G earned 80 cents per share.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected 78 cents per share.
The Cincinnati-based consumer products company said revenue jumped to $21.27 billion from $19.27 billion for the quarter, topping analyst expectations for $21.05 billion.
P&G, which has been raising prices to offset rising energy and raw materials costs, also cited favorable foreign exchange rates and double-digit sales growth in emerging markets.
For its full fiscal year, sales rose 9 percent to $83.5 billion.
The company has already raised prices this year on products such as Iams dog food, Cascade dishwasher detergent and Oral-B power toothbrushes, and has more hikes planned in September for Gillette shaving cream, Dawn dishwashing liquid and other items.
A.G. Lafley, the company’s chairman and CEO, said P&G’s product portfolio, which includes 24 brands with at least $1 billion in annual sales, and continued improvements and new products will help sustain growth. “Innovation is what will differentiate the winners and the losers in our industry and in the current environment,” Lafley told analysts on a conference call.