P&G to take advantage of 2010 recovery

MANILA, Philippines – Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) wants to boost sales this year through aggressive marketing to reach more consumers, and by offering new products, officials said at the weekend.

“Year on year, our [sales figures are] growing by the introduction of new innovations, new products,” P&G Philippines President and General Manager Siddik Tetik said in an interview at the sidelines of the company’s 75th founding anniversary celebration in Cabuyao, Laguna.

“We have been growing nicely in line with our company direction,” Mr. Tetik said, without giving figures.

In 2007, P&G Philippines recorded about P30 billion in sales, with top-selling diaper brand Pampers accounting for P3 billion.

P&G Philippines products include Ariel, Tide, Mr. Clean, Joy, Downy and Perla for its fabric and home care line; Safeguard and Zest for personal and skin care; Pampers for baby care; Whisper for feminine care; Pantene and Rejoice for hair care; Oral-B for oral care; and Eukanuba for pet care.

Mr. Tetik said P&G Philippines experienced difficulties in the last two years given the global economic downturn.

For 2008, buying power was affected by spikes in the price of rice, which accounts for a third of consumer spending, former P&G Philippines general manager James M. Lafferty said in a separate interview.

Furthermore, 2009 saw the impacts of the global financial crisis that also dampened the buying power of Filipino households. “We knew the economy will recover in some level [this year],” said Mr. Lafferty, who serves as consultant for P&G Philippines.

“The economy in the country is going to help in overall growth. This is going to happen through product innovations and also reaching our consumers,” Mr. Tetik said.

P&G Philippines is the third oldest in P&G’s global operations, next to the United States and the United Kingdom. It is also P&G’s first market in Asia.

It entered the Philippine market through a partnership with the Philippine Manufacturing Co. in 1935.

“It is going to be our core business that we will be investing in the years to come,” Mr. Tetik said.

P&G introduced the first detergent powder in the Philippines (Tide), the first disposable diapers (Pampers), the first dishwashing liquid manufactured in the country (Joy), the first “2-in-1” shampoo (Rejoice), the first winged feminine napkin (Whisper) and the first fabric conditioner (Downy).

In 1996, P&G started operations in its 22-hectare manufacturing plant in the municipality of Cabuyao in Laguna, which accommodates about 2,600 employees, after closing its old Tondo plant.

Procter & Gamble Philippines, Inc. reported P3.729 billion in gross revenues in 2008, up by 8.3%. Profits went up by 30% to P879 million.

P&G shifted Asian backoffice operations to the Philippines in 1999, under Procter & Gamble Asia Pte. Ltd. It reported P3.172 billion in gross revenues in 2008, down by nearly 1%. Profits went declined by 68% to P49 million.

P&G has 138,000 employees working in more than 80 countries worldwide.