Tepid demand, weak prices and rising costs cut into hygiene company results

CLOVERDALE, CA, June 7, 2018-

There is nothing wrong with the hygiene products business that wouldn’t be fixed by higher birth rates, lower raw materials costs and a less competitive retail environment. At least that is the picture conveyed by investor calls held by public companies to discuss their most recent quarterly results. In nearly every case, the companies were happy to talk about new product introductions as their strategy for dealing with challenging markets.

Kimberly-Clark. First quarter organic sales for K-C’s Personal Care business were even with the year-ago period and up 3% in nominal terms. The business enjoyed a 2% bounce from currency, 1% gains each from volume, mix and acquisitions, and a 2% headwind from pricing. As a result, the operating margin was down 120 basis points.

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