US consumer products giant Procter & Gamble scored a big increase in quarterly earnings, notching sales gains in three of five segments despite the slow-growth economy and tough pricing from competitors.
P&G garnered net income of $1.9 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter ending June 30, a 38 percent increase compared with a year ago.
"P&G delivered top and bottom line commitments for the fiscal year," chief executive A.G. Lafley said Friday.
"We met our objectives in a very difficult operating environment, delivered strong constant currency earnings growth and built on our strong track record of cash returns to shareholders."
The maker of Pantene shampoo, Tide detergent and other mainstays, P&G said it had sales growth in three of five segments when currency effects and acquisitions and divestitures were excluded.
Those segments were grooming (+7 percent), fabric care/home care (+1 percent) and baby, feminine and family care (+3 percent). Sales were flat in health care and three percent lower in the beauty segment.
P&G has unveiled new razor products and innovations in oral care and laundry. At the same time, the consumer products giant is operating in a cut-throat retail environment in which heavy promotions are the norm.
P&G expects 2015 net sales growth in the low single digit range. It projects earnings per share growth in the mid-single digits, including approximately 20 cents per share in restructuring charges.
P&G's "core earnings" per share, which strips out currency effects and the impact of restructuring charges, were 95 cents for the quarter, four cents above analyst expectations.
Revenues slipped 0.7 percent to $20.16 billion, below the $20.48 billion projected by analysts.
For the full year, P&G reported net income of $11.6 billion, up three percent from the prior year. Annual sales were $83.06 billion, up 0.6 percent.
P&G shares were up 1.7 percent to $78.60 in pre-market trade.