Brands & Activities: Procter & Gamble defined the nature of packaged goods brand marketing in the second half of the century, and despite an alarming wobble in the crossover from the 20th to the 21st centuries, it was by 2004 once again setting the pace for other marketers to match. Between 2003 and 2010, the group consistently delivered strong growth and an unbeatable line up of products, virtually all of which occupied the #1 or #2 position in their respective markets. No other company can boast as dynamic a line-up of brands, including 25 worth more than $1bn a year in sales. But with sales now over $80bn, a question has begun to emerge regarding future development. It's hard to see just where P&G can go next before the sheer size of the company begins to push it towards demerger. Several brands have already been divested, several others are still prime candidates for sale.
Procter & Gamble is a giant in packaged consumer goods, the worldwide #1 in baby care, fabric care, feminine care and haircare, and a major force in virtually every other sector in which it operates. The company controls around 300 brands in total, marketed across over 160 countries, but the portfolio is led by an expanding collection of what are now 25 billion-dollar brands. The biggest of these are: Pampers (sales of around $10.5bn in 2012), Tide (around $5.1bn), Ariel ($4.1bn), Pantene ($3.1bn) and Olay ($2.9bn). They are supported by Always, Bounty, Charmin, Iams, Downy and Crest. Wella, Actonel and Head & Shoulders joined the club in 2004; Dawn topped $1bn in sales in 2005. Gillette Mach 3 razors, Gillette Series grooming products, Duracell, Braun and Oral-B were added to the portfolio in 2006. Gain was a new member in 2007, followed by Gillette Fusion during 2008, Ace in 2010 and Febreze in 2011. The latest additions to the billion-dollar-club are SK-II skincare and Vicks, both of which surpassed that level for the first time in 2012. Another 20 brands have sales between $500m and $1bn per annum, including Cover Girl, Eukanuba, Herbal Essences, Swiffer and Tampax.
Financials: Despite its growing challenges and several divestments, P&G's total revenues have continued to rise steadily, reaching a new high of $84.17bn for the year to June 2013, up just 1% on the previous year. However net income has come under greater pressure as a result of the increase in commodity costs, as well as higher marketing spend. After peaking in 2009 at $13.4bn (including a large gain from Folgers), net profits slid back in each of the two following years, shedding 9% in 2012 to $10.76bn. That figure included a $1.58bn impairment charge against professional haircare operations. For the year to 2013, there was a 5% recovery to $11.31bn.
The US accounted for 36% of revenues in ye 2013 or $30.3bn (and Canada for just 3%). Approximately 18% comes from Western Europe, 15% from Central & Eastern Europe, the Middle East & Africa, 18% from Asia and 10% from Latin America. P&G's largest customer is Walmart, contributing 14% of consolidated sales in ye 2013, or $11.8bn.
What P&G Productions did 80 years ago to reach an audience vital to its business is now known as content marketing, and when it comes to promoting products and services online, it’s the most effective alternative to advertising. In fact, many consider it the new advertising, mostly because people don’t perceive it as advertising at all.
That’s why Man of the House works, while P&G television commercials get the Tivo treatment. That’s also why another big dog of brand advertising – Coca Cola – is proclaiming that content marketing will be a significant chunk of its