By Matt Grossman

 

Kimberly-Clark Corp. Friday posted lower revenue and profit figures in the latest quarter as volumes retreated compared with an intense period of consumer stocking-up a year ago during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Irving, Texas-based producer of paper and fiber products logged first-quarter earnings of $1.72 a share, a decline from $1.92 a share in the same three-month period a year earlier. Net income attributable to the company was $584 million, compared with $660 million in last year's first quarter.

Kimberly-Clark's adjusted earnings were $1.80 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast adjusted earnings of $1.93 a share.

Revenue was down 5% at $4.74 billion, compared with $5.01 billion a year ago. Analysts were expecting revenue of $4.98 billion.

Chairman and Chief Executive Mike Hsu attributed the declining performance to an imposing year-over-year comparison, because results from 2020's first quarter were boosted by stocking-up behavior as the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the U.S.

He added that severe winter weather in the South had caused temporary supply-chain disruptions earlier this year. The weather had caused the temporary shutdown of some manufacturing facilities and affected the availability of materials from suppliers.

Volumes were down by 10% in the quarter, compared with an increase of more than 8% in 2020's first quarter. Sales in the consumer-tissue segment fell 12% to $1.5 billion, while revenue from the company's K-C Professional business declined to $752 million, from $848 million a year earlier. Personal-care sales rose 2% to $2.46 billion, driven by expansion overseas.

The company's profitability was also dented by higher input costs for pulp and other materials, Kimberly-Clark said.

 

Write to Matt Grossman at matt.grossman@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2021 08:05 ET (12:05 GMT)

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