Beauty lifts P&G's quarterly sales to beat estimates

Procter & Gamble Co reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday, boosted by strong sales in its beauty, and fabric and homecare businesses.

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Driven by double-digit growth in skin care (Olaz, SK-II), but also by favorable currency effects, net sales in the third fiscal quarter (end of March) increased 4 percent to $ 16.28 billion, the group announced on Thursday. Analysts had forecast $16.21 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Earlier in the day, P&G agreed to buy the consumer health business of Merck KGaA for about 3.4 billion euros (2.96 billion pounds), giving its vitamin brands such as Seven Seas and greater exposure to Latin American and Asian markets.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $2.51 billion, or 95 cents per share, in the third quarter ended March 31, compared with $2.52 billion, or 93 cents per share, a year earlier.

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