Procter & Gamble Co will introduce more value-priced items, increase its focus on emerging markets and take other steps to ensure growth after a difficult year, its top executives said on Tuesday.
Bob McDonald, who took over the chief executive role from Chairman A.G. Lafley in July, once again said P&G wants to expand the number of consumers that use its products from about 4 billion currently to 5 billion by fiscal 2015.
There's no reason any consumer in the world should have to shop anywhere else, or buy any competitive brand. We should have the brand for them at the right value, McDonald told the crowd at the annual meeting in P&G's hometown of Cincinnati.
The world's largest household products maker has to contend with shoppers opting for lower-priced alternatives to its well-known pantry of brands such as Pampers, Tide and Duracell in the economic downturn.
Fiscal year 2009 was tough by any measure, said Lafley. In fact it was probably the toughest year P&G has faced since World War II and perhaps since the Great Depression.
Sales excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures rose just 2 percent in fiscal 2009, which ended in June. P&G had aimed for 4 percent to 6 percent growth in so-called organic sales.
Last month, P&G said it expected sales to improve in the current quarter as new products and other investments pay dividends.
(Reporting by Jessica Wohl; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)