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Procter & Gamble made substantial progress in fiscal 2010 as its Purpose-inspired Growth Strategy accelerated business performance, chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald told the company's shareholders at its annual meeting October 12.
Organic sales grew 3%, core earnings per share rose 6% and adjusted free cash flow was 125% of net earnings for the last fiscal year ended June 30, 2010. The company repurchased $6 billion in stock and also increased its dividend for the 54th consecutive year. Market share grew in 14 of the company's top 17 countries and the company is now serving 4.2 billion consumers—putting the company on track to achieve its goal of reaching five billion consumers by 2015.
McDonald attributed the company's performance to its focus on innovation. "Innovation that truly improves people's lives is more important than ever because many of the economies in which we operate are still recovering from recession," he said. "Our own experience shows that companies that continue to invest in innovation during economic downturns enjoy more growth in the years that follow—primarily because they keep their promises to consumers when those promises matter most. There's nothing more important that we can do in these tough times than to keep our brands strong, to continue leading innovation and to win the consumer value equation every day."
However, he emphasized that there were still significant opportunities for improvement and highlighted the focus that would be put against profitable share growth across all of the company's business segments, continued cost reduction and cash management as well as balanced top- and bottom-line growth.
"We won't let up. I'm confident that if we build on our successes, address our shortfalls and implement our Purpose-inspired Growth Strategy with excellence, we will continue to accelerate growth and touch and improve more consumers' lives in more parts of the world ... more completely," he added.