Procter & Gamble Co
posted a 4 percent drop in quarterly profit on Thursday as consumers traded down to less expensive products in the challenging economy, leading to a decline in sales.

P&G, known for products such as Gillette razors and Tide laundry detergent, also said it expects earnings to be in line with Wall Street's expectations this year even though sales growth could be weaker than its previous forecast.

The company earned $2.61 billion, or 84 cents per share, in the fiscal third quarter, compared with a profit of $2.71 billion, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier. P&G had fewer shares outstanding in the most recent quarter.

Sales fell 8 percent to $18.42 billion.

P&G said it is comfortable with analysts' consensus earnings per share estimate of $4.22 for the year, with a range of $4.20 to $4.25.

Earlier this year, P&G called for organic sales -- which exclude the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign exchange -- to rise 2 percent to 5 percent in the current fiscal year, which ends in June. It now expects organic sales to grow by 2 to 3 percent.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl; editing by John Wallace)