Paper products giant Kimberly-Clark has posted a 2% decline in first quarter net sales, to $4.6 billion.
The company said that foreign currency changes impacted sales by 5%, while organic sales increased by 3%, helped by higher net selling prices of 4%.
In North America, organic sales increased both 1% in its consumer products and K-C Professional businesses. Outside North America, organic sales were up 7% in developing and emerging markets, and 1% in developed markets.
First quarter operating profit was $655 million for the period, up from $247 million in the same period the previous year, which was affected by the group’s Global Restructuring Program.
Offsetting Commodity Headwinds
"I'm encouraged with our first quarter results,” commented chief executive Mike Hsu. “We made excellent progress driving higher selling prices to help offset commodity and currency headwinds. We also continued to launch innovations, pursue our growth priorities and invest in our brands.
“In addition, we generated $115 million of cost savings and returned $510 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. We are confirming our previous full-year outlook while we maintain a strong focus on executing K-C Strategy 2022 for long-term success."
In its Consumer Tissue segment, Kimberly-Clark said that first quarter sales were down 3% to $1.5 billion, with net selling prices rising by 6%.