Procter & Gamble plans more jobs cuts and share buybacks

NEW YORK — Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. said Thursday it plans to cut more jobs and increase share repurchases as it works to focus on its most profitable categories and countries.

The news comes as the company holds its annual analyst meeting in Cincinnati, and as P&G faces increasing investor pressure.

The maker of Tide detergent and Gillette razors says on top of its already announced plan to cut 10 percent of its non-manufacturing jobs, or 5,700 jobs, by the end of its fiscal year in June 2013, it plans to continue to reduce its non-manufacturing jobs by 2 percent to 4 percent between 2014 and 2016. It will continue to hire in other areas, however.

P&G also said it now expects to buy back $4 billion to $6 billion of its shares. Previously it forecast $4 billion.

P&G has admitted to missteps in pricing and in balancing growth in emerging markets, which account for about 38 percent of its sales, amid an uncertain global economy and lackluster market share growth overall.

In May, P&G announced a plan to focus on its 40 top businesses, 20 biggest new products and 10 most profitable emerging markets, as it is undergoes a cost-cutting plan aimed at saving $10 billion by fiscal 2016.

The pressure is on since activist investor William Ackman, known for agitating for change in companies he has a stake in, has disclosed that he has a 1 percent stake in the Procter & Gamble.

For the full year P&G kept its guidance for adjusted core earnings of $3.80 to $4 on flat revenue growth to up 1 percent. That implies $83.68 billion to $84.52 billion. Analysts expect net income of $3.96 per share on revenue of $84.20 billion.

Shares fell 21 cents Thursday to close at $66.32.

Procter & Gamble moving 160 jobs from Augusta
LOCAL IMPACT

Procter & Gamble, one of Augusta’s oldest industries, announced last week it would move its powdered-detergent operations to Louisiana and eliminate 160 local jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.

The Augusta plant will remain in operation as a manufacturer of dryer bars, with about 40 employees.

The plant went into production in February 1963, becoming one of the first residents of the “Miracle Mile” industrial district along Mike Padg­ett and Marvin Griffin Road.

As recently as 2009, the company was still adding jobs to the facility and employed 240 workers and 360 contract workers. That year, 150 jobs and two production lines were added to the plant, which at the time was the only place making the new Bounce Dryer Bar.

For much of its tenure, the plant has focused on making powder versions of Tide, Cheer, Draft, Ivory Snow and Gain laundry detergents.

– From staff reports

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