New York : US consumer products giant Procter & Gamble yesterday reported a 15.5 percent drop in quarterly earnings on essentially flat sales that slightly missed analyst expectations. Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 came in at $3.4 billion on $22.28 billion in revenues, down from $4.1 billion on $22.18 billion in revenue in the prior-year period. The results equated to earnings per-share of $1.21 excluding one-time items, a penny above analyst expectations. Revenues fell just shy of analyst projections of $22.34 billion . P&G said the decline in net income compared with the prior year was due to a gain in the 2013 period from the sale of its Italy bleach business. The 2014 period was also negatively impacted by changes in foreign currency levels. P&G chief executive officer A.G. Lafley said the company was on track to reach its 2014 objectives of three to four percent organic sales growth, and five to seven percent earnings per share growth. "P&G's second quarter results came in as we expected," Lafley said. "We expect strong earnings growth in the second half of the year, driven by solid top-line growth, moderating headwinds from foreign exchange, and productivity savings that build throughout the year." Foreign-currency exchange-rate fluctuations reduced earnings in the quarter by 11 cents a share, P&G said today. Currencies also reduced net sales by three percentage points, while the mix of products sold reduced sales one per cent. Lower-margin businesses such as fabric care have grown faster than more profitable categories such as beauty and grooming, Faucher said in a note earlier this month. Net sales in beauty fell 2.0 per cent and increased 1.0 per cent in fabric care. Health care sales rose 4.0 per cent.
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