Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) delivered double-digit volume and core earnings per share growth for the January-March quarter, exceeding Wall Street consensus estimates.

This marks three quarters of sequential volume and core earnings growth.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2002, unit volume grew 10% versus the prior year driven by double-digit growth in the health care and beauty care businesses and strong progress in fabric and home care. 

Excluding acquisitions and divestitures, unit volume increased 6%.  Reported net sales were US$9.90 billion, up 7% versus year-ago excluding a 3% negative foreign exchange impact, as pricing and mix effects partially offset volume growth.

"Last quarter's results were strong across core businesses, leading brands and top countries. P&G is solidly back on track," said P&G president and chief executive A. G. Lafley. "To sustain stronger results long-term, we must continue to focus on consumer value, innovation leadership, outstanding brand marketing and disciplined cash and cost management."