P&G CEO says US consumer ‘remains strong’ despite global trade concerns

David Taylor

Anjali Sundaram | CNBC

Procter & Gamble Chairman and CEO David Taylor told CNBC on Tuesday that the U.S. consumer “remains strong” despite global growth fears amid the U.S. trade war with China.

“We’re doing everything we can with the innovation that we bring to continue to accelerate growth in the categories,” Taylor said in an interview with “Closing Bell. ” “We expect a modest decline in some categories. But, overall, the U.S. is healthy and the consumer [has] responded well to innovation that delights him or her.”

Taylor spoke after P&G reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue Tuesday morning that beat Wall Street expectations. Despite the company reporting an $8 billion write-down of its shaving business, shares have climbed about 44% over the past year and hit an all-time high on Tuesday.

The financial results came amid the U.S. trade dispute with China, which has rattled financial markets and threatened to drag on the global economy.

P&G, a global company that makes everyday household goods, including Tide detergent and Crest toothpaste, relies on China to manufacture and package some of its brands.

“If you look at just consumer data, China is still very strong. There is a modest slowdown on category growth rate. But it’s on a very healthy level,” said Taylor. He also added that “Chinese consumers are especially interested in premium products that provide superior benefits,” which has helped the company accelerate its innovation.

The company, in its earnings report, offered an optimistic forecast for fiscal 2020. It expects a revenue growth of 3% to 4% and an adjusted earnings per share increase of 4% to 9%. Analysts were estimating that the company’s adjusted earnings next fiscal year would rise 5.1% to $4.75 per share.

In response to the guidance, Taylor said, “We’re still dealing with a macro environment,” including the U.S.-China trade war, that has been challenging for P&G. The company hopes to generate “productivity on every cost bucket and cost pool,” he said.

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