Procter & Gamble is planning several new product launches in the coming months as it works to boost sales in the United States and Europe.
In January, the consumer products giant will unveil new premium lines of Pantene shampoo and Cascade dish washing detergent in the United States, chief financial officer Jon Moeller told analysts on Thursday at the Barclays Back-to-School conference in Boston.
Cascade Platinum, a premium-priced dish detergent, is also designed to remove grease from dishwasher parts, while P&G will expand its Pantene line to include “super-premium” and mid-tier priced products.
The push comes as P&G works to overcome sluggish sales in North America and Europe, where it does more than 60 percent of its business.
The company, which twice cut profit estimates last year, is facing increasing pressure from shareholders to perform. Investors are watching especially closely now that hedge fund manager William Ackman is among its top shareholders. Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management has acquired a roughly 1 percent stake in the company, is known for agitating for change at under-performing firms in his portfolio.
As the company works through a $10 billion cost-savings plan, Moeller said Thursday that P&G is keeping a steady focus on bringing new, innovative products to the market.
“We’re in an environment that places a premium on both innovation and productivity,” Moeller said Thursday. “The most innovative and productive companies will win. The least innovative and productive companies will not be here. It’s that simple.”
P&G is also unveiling a range of new products within its Olay skin care line. Olay Total Effects CC Cream will launch next month and is designed to deliver cosmetic coverage, moisturizer and age fighting agents.
In December, P&G will unveil Olay Regenerist Total Eye Care, a two-in-one eye cream and eyelash serum that promises to fight wrinkles around the eyes and thicken eye lashes for “younger, brighter looking eyes” in one week. And coming in January: Olay Fresh Effects, a tinted skin moisturizer with sunscreen that will be targeted to younger consumers.
“We believe that the introduction of these products is a key strategic intervention we need to return to sustainable U.S. share growth,” Moeller said.
Also on Thursday, Moeller said the company is ahead of schedule on its plan to cut $10 billion in costs by 2016. The plan set out to cut 5,700 jobs – or 10 percent of the company’s non-manufacturing workforce – by the end of its current fiscal year in June 2013. The company is now on track to finish the cuts by the end of this calendar year. Over time, Moeller said, the company expects the cuts to exceed more than 10 percent.
P&G also reaffirmed its 2013 fiscal year guidance Thursday of earnings per share of $3.80 to $4. Shares of P&G closed Thursday at $68.24, up 1.4 percent.
P&G’s Mason Business Center, which employs about 2,400, is home to its pet care, pharmaceuticals and personal- and oral-care businesses.