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K-C teams make progress under Global Business Plan
25
Jan '08
Kimberly-Clark Corporation reported that net sales in the fourth quarter of 2007 improved 10.5 percent to $4.8 billion, setting a new quarterly record. Highlights included continued strong growth in developing and emerging markets, where sales climbed in excess of 20 percent, and double-digit volume gains for several of the company's well-known Personal Care brands in North America.

Overall, organic sales growth totaled approximately 6 percent, driven principally by higher sales volumes, while changes in currency exchange rates also benefited sales by nearly 5 percent.

Diluted net income per share was $1.07 compared with $1.05 in the prior year. Adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter of 2007 were $1.11 per share, up nearly 8 percent from $1.03 per share in 2006 and in line with the company's previous guidance range of $1.09 to $1.11 per share.

The increase in sales, along with continued success in reducing costs, enabled the company to deliver improved results for the quarter while absorbing approximately $115 million of cost inflation and increasing strategic marketing expenses by $10 million.

A lower share count, partially offset by a related increase in interest expense, and a lower adjusted effective income tax rate also contributed to the increase in adjusted earnings per share versus the year-ago period.

Adjusted earnings exclude charges for strategic cost reductions to streamline the company's operations in both years and certain incremental implementation costs related to the strategic cost reduction plan in 2007.

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