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Procter & Gamble's 3Q revenue weighed down by strong dollar

Sales decline in beauty and personal care, and feminine and family care segments

Procter & Gamble took a hit from the strong dollar, like almost all U.S. companies with business overseas, pushing third-quarter revenue below expectations. Because of the unfavourable currency environment, the company believes revenue for the year will slide 5 per cent to 6 per cent. It said Thursday that it still expects adjusted earnings to be in line to down low single digits compared with last year. Procter & Gamble Co., which makes everything from Gillette razors to Crest toothpaste, earned $2.15 billion, or 75 cents per share for the period ended March 31. That compares with $2.61 billion, or 90 cents per share, last year. Adjusted earnings were 92 cents per share, meeting the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet. Revenue for the Cincinnati company declined to $18.14 billion from $19.64 billion, short of the $18.42 billion Wall Street had expected. The biggest sales decline during the quarter was in the beauty, hair and personal care segment, which posted an 11 per cent drop. Sales for the fabric care and home care unit fell 9 per cent, while sales for the baby, feminine and family care division slipped 6 per cent. The quarter's performance was hampered by a strong dollar, which can hurt companies that do a large share of their business overseas because sales in other countries translate back into fewer dollars. Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said during a conference call that currency challenges increased during the quarter, with currencies in Brazil, Turkey and the Ukraine weakening versus the dollar when compared with the second quarter. Chairman and CEO A.G. Lafley said in a written statement that Procter & Gamble Co. will offset the stronger dollar over time through higher prices and by lowering costs. The consumer products maker is also continuing with plans announced in August to shed many of its brands. Moeller said Thursday that Procter & Gamble currently expects to exit about 100 and keep approximately 65 of its leading brands, such as Pampers and Tide. "Every brand we plan to keep is strategic, with the potential to grow and create value,'' he said. The company is looking to wrap up its efforts by fiscal 2016's end. Shares fell 82 cents to $81.61 in morning trading.

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