Quarterly profit fell 31 percent at the world's largest maker of household goods. P&G forecasts the strong dollar will hurt full-year earnings. Fred Katayama reports.
The strong dollar slammed profit at P&G, the world's largest household products company, The maker of Tide detergent and CoverGirl makeup, which sells goods in 180 countries, said profit slid 31 percent in the latest quarter. Earnings would've risen if it weren't for currency translations. Procter & Gamble cut costs, but that wasn't enough to overcome the mighty dollar. Net sales shrank across its lineup from beauty and hair products to health care and baby care. P&G has been trying to boost profit by drastically shrinking the number of products it makes. It recently sold its Duracell battery business and Camay and Zest soap brands. But its margin shrank again. Look for foreign exchange to continue to pummel earnings. P&G called the outlook for this year "challenging," predicting that the currency impact will cut profit by 12 percent. It said it would try to offset that by further cutting costs. P&G has lots of company. DuPont, United Technologies and Pfizer also blamed the dollar for their weak full-year forecasts. P&G's shares, which have outperformed rivals Kimberly Clark and Unilever over the past 12 months, fell in early trading.