It pays to have a finger in many pies.

Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) net sales for the third quarter of its 2020 fiscal year rose 5 per cent to US$17.2 billion.

The multinational’s footprint in healthcare, babycare and homecare were at the heart of the solid performance – up 7 per cent, 8 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.

Organic sales in P&G’s beauty and personal care division, including the Olay and Head & Shoulders brands, edged up 1 per cent over the quarter.

But with China and travel retail in lockdown, one of the major declines in the multinational’s prestige stable was Japanese skincare brand, SK-II, which experienced a 20 per cent slump in  sales.

Grooming, centred by Gillette, saw sales drop 1 per cent during Q3. But Jon Moeller, P&G vice-chairman, CFO and COO, said that beauty had continued to perform very well with organic sales increasing for the 17th consecutive quarter.

“To get organic sales growth on beauty with a minus 20 per cent-plus on SK-II, you have to assume very healthy purchase and consumption levels across the portfolio, which we are seeing. And I don’t see a reason that will wane,” he said.

Importantly, P&G, which is the world’s largest advertiser, is keeping up its marketing activity in a strong effort to retain the “mental availability” of its products.

“There are consumers that are trying products that they haven’t tried before – but they aren’t necessarily ours. We need to work hard to ensure that we maintain mental and physical availability to the greatest extent possible, so that those consumers return to their beloved and trusted brands – which are ours – as they’re more fully available. This is  not a time to go off air,” noted Moeller.

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