BEAUTY CARE

P&G: Expanding Connect + Develop program will boost business

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble is looking to expand its open innovation partnerships, which would triple the impact of its Connect + Develop open innovation strategy.

Connect + Develop, which was launched nearly 10 years ago, enables the company to share research and development, commercialization and brand strength worldwide, so great ideas can arrive on the market and to consumers in a timely fashion, according to P&G’s website. By tripling its open innovation work, P&G said Connect + Develop would garner $3 billion toward the company’s annual sales growth.

The announcement came just days after the company reported its strong first-quarter earnings.

"Connect + Develop has created a culture of open innovation that has already generated sustainable growth; but we know we can do more," said P&G chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald. "We want the best minds in the world to work with us to create big ideas that can touch and improve the lives of more consumers, in more parts of the world, more completely."

Innovations that have spawned from the Connect + Develop program include Swiffer dusters, Olay Regenerist, Tide Total Care, Mr. Clean magic eraser, Clairol Perfect 10 and the Oral B Pulsonic toothbrush.

"Connect + Develop opened our minds and doors to external collaboration. It changed our culture from ‘invented here’ to ‘partnering for greater value,’" said chief technology officer Bruce Brown. "With these new goals, we are taking C+D to the next level. We are looking to ensure that we’re not just delivering more partnerships, but greater value through our partnerships. We want collaboration that creates innovation across all our business operations, from product development to logistics."

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WSJ: OPI may be looking to sell

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK There’s talk that nail polish company OPI Products is looking to sell itself for at least $900 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

OPI reportedly is in discussions with several parties, including Coty and private-equity firm Bain Capital, according to WSJ, which cited "people familiar with the matter."

Harris Shepard Public Relations, which represents OPI, stated: "The rumors about the sale of OPI have persisted for years. Other than that, [we] have no comment. Thank you."

WSJ reported that Bain didn’t respond to its request for a comment, and Coty stated that it "had no news to report at this time."

Citing Euromonitor International data, WSJ reported that OPI’s products held roughly 6% of the U.S. market last year.

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P&G’s CEO on Q1 results: ‘Purpose-inspired growth strategy’ is working

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble announced on Wednesday that first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations exceeded estimates and rose 5% as net sales rose 2% to $20.1 billion.

"Our first quarter was a good start to the fiscal year. We maintained our top-line momentum and delivered profitable market share growth," stated chairman, president and CEO Bob McDonald. "We are confident that our purpose-inspired growth strategy — to touch and improve the lives of more consumers in more parts of the world, more completely — will continue to drive growth and create value for shareholders. While the macro-economic environment remains challenging, the solid first-quarter results demonstrate that our strategy is working."

Net sales for the July-to-September period rose 2% to $20.1 billion, as organic sales grew 4%. Volume increased 8%, with growth in all major geographic regions and 5-of-6 business segments.

Key initiatives for the quarter included the North American launches of Crest Pro-Health Clinical, Tide with Acti-Lift, Gain dishwashing liquid, Febreze Set ‘n Refresh and Gucci Guilty.

In beauty, net sales were in line with the prior year period at $4.9 billion on unit volume growth of 4%. Organic sales grew 3%. Volume in female beauty grew mid-single digits, primarily behind double-digit growth of Olay. Net earnings rose 7% to $829 million.

In grooming, net sales rose 2% to $1.9 billion on a 5% increase in unit volume. Organic sales were up 6%. Male grooming volume grew mid-single digits due to higher shipments of blades and razors, mainly in developing regions, and deodorants in North America and Latin America. Net earnings increased 13% to $398 million.

In health care, net sales were in line with the prior year period at $3 billion on unit volume growth of 6%. Organic sales grew 4%. Oral care volume was up in the high single digits behind the launch of Crest Pro-Health Clinical in North America, expansion of Oral-B toothpaste in Brazil, Belgium and Holland, and the success of the Pro-Health innovation in multiple markets around the world. Net earnings declined 10% to $495 million driven by lower operating margin mainly due to higher marketing spending.

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