“We clearly are operating in a very dynamic environment,” Taylor said, speaking on a call to analysts. He then listed retail transformation, disruption of the media ecosystem, unstable foreign exchange rates and “hugely capable multinational and local competitors” as factors making life hard for P&G.
In the grooming division of the business, where P&G’s Gillette has faced strong competition from younger competitors including Dollar Shave Club (now owned by Unilever) and Harry’s, organic sales were down 1%.
The owner of Fairy and Pampers reported net sales up 3% in its fourth quarter – from April to June – with organic sales up 1%. Net sales for the year were also up 3% to $66.8bn (£50.9bn).
But net earnings from continuing operations for the year were down 3% to $9.86bn. The quarterly sales total also undershot analysts’ expectations.
One area of positive performance was P&G’s ecommerce sales, which grew around 30% last year to $4.5bn.
Taylor repeated comments previously made by P&G’s chief brand officer, Marc Pritchard, that efforts in response to Pritchard’s five calls to action for media transparency were now 90% complete.
Taylor also used the call to mention the 26 Lions P&G picked up at Cannes this year, including two Grands Prix.