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Kimberly-Clark Personal Care continues to perform at a high level

22
Apr '08
Kimberly-Clark Corporation reported that net sales in the first quarter of 2008 advanced 9.7 percent to $4.8 billion, a new quarterly record. Chief among the highlights, sales in developing and emerging markets climbed 22 percent, with particular strength in the Personal Care and K-C Professional businesses.

Overall, organic sales growth exceeded 5 percent, driven primarily by increased sales volumes and higher net selling prices. Changes in currency exchange rates also benefited sales by more than 4 percent.

Diluted net income per share was $1.04 compared with $0.98 in the prior year. Adjusted earnings in the first quarter of 2008 were $1.08 per share, up 5 percent from $1.03 per share in 2007 and in line with the company's previous guidance range of $1.05 to $1.08 per share.

The top-line growth, along with continued success in reducing costs, helped the company deliver improved results despite approximately $160 million of cost inflation and a $22 million rise in strategic marketing spending.

A lower share count, partially offset by a related increase in interest expense, 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.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer ThomasJ. Falk said, “We're off to a good start in 2008, with results on plan in the first quarter in the face of unrelenting inflationary pressures. Our Personal Care business continued to perform at a high level.


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