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Procter & Gamble to slash about 100 brands

Procter & Gamble is cutting more than half of its brands

Procter & Gamble Co. plans to cut more than half of its brands, as the world’s largest consumer products company slims down amid sluggish sales.

The Cincinnati-based firm will shed 90 to 100 brands and focus investment on remaining product lines that comprise more than 95% of company profit, Chief Executive A.G. Lafley said in a conference call with analysts Friday.

“This will be a much simpler, much less complex company,” he said.

The maker of Pampers diapers and Tide detergent will be left with 70 to 80 brands after selling or discontinuing roughly 100 others. The process is expected to take one to two years.

Procter & Gamble simply has too many brands that do little to drive growth and the upcoming cuts will help change that, said Ali Dibadj, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein.

“It's a small step in the right direction,” he said.

Friday’s announcement is the latest company effort to trim down. In April, Procter announced a $2.9-billion sale of most of its pet food business.

Lafley did not say which brands would remain after the latest trim, but said they account for 90% of sales and have performed better than the company as a whole.
The new Procter & Gamble will be easier to manage, enabling “faster and more sustainable growth,” Lafley said.

The announcement came as the firm reported earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter.
Net income rose 37.5% to $2.58 billion, or 89 cents a share. Sales fell 1% from the same period a year earlier to $20.16 billion.

Procter & Gamble shares rose $2.74, or 3.5%, to $80.06 in afternoon trading.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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