Kimberly-Clark Corp backed its fiscal 2010 profit forecast and said it would spend more to market new products to reignite sales of goods ranging from toilet paper to tampons.

The maker of Kleenex tissues also said it anticipates earnings growth in a mid-to-high single-digit range and sales growth of 3 percent to 5 percent through 2015.

Last year, Kimberly-Clark cut about 1,700 jobs and made investments such as healthcare acquisitions to improve its strategy while facing stepped-up pressure from cheaper private- label products such as paper towels.

The changes left the company with a good launch pad into 2010, Chairman and Chief Executive Thomas Falk said during a meeting with analysts on Monday.

It plans to keep raising marketing spending at a faster rate than net sales growth through 2015, Chief Marketing Officer Tony Palmer said during the meeting in New York.

Kimberly-Clark has announced plans for three new products this month -- Depend underwear in colors and prints, Kleenex disposable towels for bathroom use, and U by Kotex, a new line of feminine-care products with bold packaging.

Falk said the company would also improve its Cottonelle toilet paper and Viva paper towel line.


Kimberly-Clark now expects to cut $400 million to $450 million costs through an ongoing program versus its original target of $350 million to $450 million.

The company, also known for its Huggies diapers, aims to save $400 million to $500 million from 2011 to 2013, by implementing cost controls in its manufacturing and supply chain and by forming a global procurement organization.

Kimberly-Clark lowered its long-term capital spending target to 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent of net sales, compared with its prior view of 5 percent to 6 percent.

Kimberly-Clark, which plans to focus on fast-growing markets such as China, Russia and Latin America, still expectsfiscal 2010 adjusted earnings of $4.80 to $5.00 per share, with sales up 5 percent to 6 percent.

Some analysts have said the high end of the profit forecast may be too lofty. The average analyst estimate tracked by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S is $4.87 per share.

The company's adjusted profit forecast excludes an anticipated loss related to Venezuela's currency devaluation.

Kimberly-Clark's shares rose 2.3 percent, or $1.45, to $62.88 on the New York Stock Exchange in early trading.

They have lagged larger rival Procter & Gamble Co

so far this year amid concerns over higher commodity costs. Higher prices for pulp following Chile's earthquake have a bigger impact on Kimberly-Clark since more of products are paper goods.

At the same time, P&G is introducing new Pampers diapers with a thinner, more absorbent technology that analysts said could put pressure on Kimberly-Clark.

Falk said Huggies would update its diapers and training pants in North America, including bringing a Huggies Jeans diaper to the market.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in New York, additional reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)