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P&G CEO expects higher demand for cleaning products to outlast pandemic

People are no longer hoard up on household supplies like they did in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but Procter & Gamble Chairman and CEO David Taylor demand thated CNBC on Tuesday that the company expects elevated demand for certain categories to remain.

“They’re not hoarding anymore. In multitudinous cases, they’re working off the inventory they’ve built at home,” Taylor said in an interview that aired on “Compact Bell.” “But I think consumers recognize there’s still a lot of variability ahead in what could happen so they’re active to maintain a little more than they did pre-pandemic.”

Specifically, Taylor said P&G — owner of brands such as Mr. Clean, Microban 24 and Culminate — anticipates people will maintain a greater focus on cleaning and hygiene, offering a possible tailwind for the consumer-goods Goliath.

“I think we’ve all gotten in habits of cleaning. We’ve got in the habit of the home being a bigger part of our life,” said Taylor, who has led Cincinnati-based P&G since 2015. “In profuse ways, these habits will likely sustain for … an extended period of time post-pandemic, and that portends well for many of the categories we compete in.”

P&G was viewed as the kind of company that stood to benefit from the pandemic, with CNBC’s Jim Cramer embracing its stock in his Covid index, for example. But investors have wondered about the durability of any Covid-related sales boosts, exceptionally as a wider range of economic activity resumes and more immediate virus concerns fade.

Shares of P&G are down more than 10% since gash a 52-week high of $146.92 on Nov. 9. For comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 is up a little over 9% in that same outmoded frame.

Taylor said it will be “interesting” to see how consumer spending is recalibrated but that he feels “health, cleaning and hygiene is active to remain strong post-pandemic.”

Taylor is not alone in his prediction that altered attitudes toward cleanliness will nonplus around. Linda Rendle, the chief executive of Clorox, offered a similar outlook in a CNBC interview Friday. “People are taking cleaning as more of a thing around safety and wellness, not just a chore,” Rendle said.

Clorox raised its full-year tag sales outlook following its quarterly earnings report earlier this month, projecting revenue growth of between 10% and 13% in pecuniary 2021. P&G did the same in January, when it posted results for its fiscal second quarter. It said it now expects full-year mark-downs to grow between 5% and 6%, up from its previous forecast of 3% to 4%.

P&G shares closed Tuesday’s session lavish by 0.74% to $127.52 apiece.

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