The Procter & Gamble Company today reported that it has exceeded expectations for second quarter results. 

In a statement, the company said it had delivered on the high end of its financial guidance for the October - December quarter, behind record quarter unit volume.

For the quarter ended 31 December 2001, unit volume grew 5% versus the prior year led by double-digit growth in the health and beauty care businesses. Excluding acquisitions and divestitures, unit volume increased 4%. Net sales were US$10.4 billion, up 2% versus year-ago.

"We are seeing clear improvements in our results, and we're pleased to have met our commitments once again," said P&G president and chief executive A. G. Lafley.

"We're continuing our unyielding focus on delivering better consumer value on our brands, building core categories, reducing the company's cost structure and improving our cash flow."

Net earnings for the quarter were US$1.3 billion or US$0.93 per share. Results included a US$146m after-tax restructuring charge related to the company's streamlining of operations and business portfolio. This restructuring charge for the quarter included employee separation costs of $85 million before tax and asset related charges of $72 million before tax. Net earnings in the year-ago quarter were $1.19 billion, including a $120 million after-tax restructuring charge.

Core earnings were up six percent to $1.03 per share or $1.45 billion for the quarter.  This excludes restructuring charges and the adjustment to the prior year to remove amortization no longer required for goodwill and certain intangibles.