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A-Brands

Kimberly-Clark Reports 2% Sales Growth In Full-Year 2021

Kimberly-Clark Corporation has reported a full-year sales growth of 2%, to $19.4 billion (€17.4 billion), in its financial year 2021.

Operating profit amounted to $2.56 billion (€2.3 billion) for the year, down from $3.24 billion in 2020, while adjusted operating profit was $2.83 billion.

The producer of brands such as Andrex, Huggies, and Kleenex posted a sales growth of 3%, to $5.0 billion, in the fourth quarter.

The company's board of directors has approved a 1.8% increase in the quarterly dividend, marking its 50th consecutive annual increase in dividend.

Chairman and chief executive officer, Mike Hsu said, "Our teams have been executing well in this challenging macro and operating environment, maintaining cost discipline, balancing pricing initiatives, taking care of our customers, and continuing to build our brands and grow share.  We were especially pleased with our topline growth in personal care and D&E over the year."

Fourth Quarter Performance

Fourth quarter operating profit amounted to $521 million in 2021, down from $749 million in 2020.

Results in both periods include charges related to the 2018 Global Restructuring Programme.

In North America, organic sales in the consumer products segment were even compared with the same period in the previous year, while it increased by 2% in K-C Professional. Outside North America, organic sales rose 8% in developing and emerging (D&E) markets, and 2% in developed markets.

The 2020 results also include Softex Indonesia acquisition-related costs and a benefit from the resolution of a business tax matter in Brazil.

Outlook For 2022

The company has forecast net sales growth of 1% to 2% in 2022, anticipating organic sales growth of 3% to 4%.

Diluted net income per share for 2022 is anticipated to be $5.60 to $6.00.

Hsu commented, "Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in innovation, supporting our brands, and accelerating topline growth.  While we expect inflation and supply-chain disruption to persist into 2022, we are committed to recovering margins to pre-pandemic levels over time, and we are optimistic about gradual improvement later in the year.

"We remain confident in the potential of our categories in the near and long-term, and in our ability to create meaningful shareholder value while we work to achieve our purpose of better care for a better world.  I am grateful for the incredible dedication of our talented teams in 2021, and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure a safe, healthy, and rewarding work environment in the year ahead."

In 2021, the company's full-year adjusted earnings per share  declined 20% to $6.18, from $7.74 in 2020. The company's previous guidance was based on adjusted earnings per share of $6.05 to $6.25.

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Conor Farrelly. For more A-Brands news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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