Procter & Gamble bucks trend, continues hiring

Published by rudy Date posted on April 3, 2009

MOST companies are laying off workers, but consumer products giant Procter & Gamble is still hiring, buoyed by steady sales even in the midst of a slowing economy.

“The first quarter has been very good for us,” Procter & Gamble Philippines president and general manager James Lafferty told reporters yesterday without offering specific numbers.

Procter & Gamble is listed in several stock exchanges. It has been in the Philippines since 1935, and last year it generated P30 billion in sales.

The company makes laundry detergents and fabric softeners (Tide, Mr. Clean, Ariel and Downy), soaps (Safeguard and Zest), shampoos (Rejoice, Pantene and Head & Shoulders), home care, feminine care and baby care products.

Mimi Lopez, the company’s government relations manager, said Procter & Gamble would be hiring 100 more workers this year to bring its total workforce here to 1,412.

“While other companies are letting go some of their employees, we are actually adding more this year,” Lopez said.

Lafferty said the company would be spending P1 billion more for its laundry detergents as it launched its Taba packs that provide consumers with 14 to 35 percent more laundry powder at the same retail price.

The company said this new initiative, to be tested in three to six months, would give consumers better value for their money at a time when they were feeling the impact of the global crisis.

‘‘By giving more product at the same price, we feel we are meeting an important need of giving better value,” Lafferty said.

Ana Dimapilis, brand public relations manager, said the additional spending was expected to translate to higher sales but not hurt the bottom line.

Procter & Gamble Philippines accounts for 35 percent of the laundry detergent market in the Philippines in value despite the entry of many competitors in the market.

Globally, Procter & Gamble has 200 brands that generate between $500 million and $1 billion in annual sales.–Roderick T. dela Cruz, Manila Standard Today

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