As difficult as 2020 was, strong worldwide ecommerce sales combined with momentum held over from a solid 2019 helped Procter & Gamble Co. to grow net sales by 8% year over year in the first half of its fiscal 2021 year.
“We’ve had a strong year-to-date outcome with ecommerce growing 50%, now above 14% of the business globally,” Jon Moeller, vice chairman, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said on a conference call with investment analysts last month for the fiscal second quarter and first half ended Dec. 31, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.
More than $5 billion in first-half ecommerce sales
Figuring that 14% figure, P&G worldwide ecommerce sales amounted to about $5.5 billion for the six months ended Dec. 31.
By comparison, P&G said total net sales for the fiscal second quarter increased by 8.3% year over year to $19.75 billion. For the six months ended Dec. 31, P&G reported an 8.4% year-over-year increase in net sales to $39.06 billion.
Moeller, responding to a question regarding his expectation that ecommerce will reach 20% of total sales, noted that ecommerce was “not far from closing in on that 20% level, particularly with those kinds of growth rates.”
P&G’s market share in ecommerce, though different by product category and by country market, he said, is “slightly higher” than the company’s market share in “brick-and-mortar shares.”
Crucial to perform well in ecommerce
Moeller went on to say that it’s crucial for P&G to perform well in ecommerce, and he noted that P&G’s position as a big supplier of established brands provided it with a “conducive situation for growth.”
“We need to perform in this channel against all the vectors of superiority just as we do in the others,” he said.
Along with the increasing strength in ecommerce sales, P&G benefitted in 2020 from a 6% year-over-year increase in pre-COVID organic sales during the calendar year 2019. “Building on that strong momentum, we accelerated organic top-line growth in calendar year 2020, which we just completed to nearly 8%.” Moeller added that P&G overcame “significant challenges,” including drops in sales to dental offices and to hotels and restaurants experiencing a downturn in professional business travel.
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