By Will Feuer

 

Kimberly-Clark Corp. said it sees sales and earnings rising in 2022, despite an expectation that inflation and supply-chain challenges will continue to hit the maker of Huggies diapers, Cottonelle toilet paper and other items.

The company on Wednesday said it expects sales to rise between 1% and 2% in fiscal 2022, including organic sales growth of 3% to 4%.

The company also expects to post earnings per share of between $5.60 and $6, compared with 2021 earnings of $5.35 a share.

That forecast includes the expectation that key cost inputs are expected to increase by $750 million to $900 million.

"Costs are projected to increase or remain elevated for most inputs including purchased raw materials as well as for distribution and energy," the company said in a statement.

The company said it is also factoring in a year-over-year increase in marketing, research and general spending, in part driven by inflation.

"Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in innovation, supporting our brands, and accelerating topline growth," Chairman and Chief Executive Mike Hsu said. "While we expect inflation and supply-chain disruption to persist into 2022, we are committed to recovering margins to pre-pandemic levels over time, and we are optimistic about gradual improvement later in the year."

Kimberly-Clark said it also expects to save between $300 million and $350 million from its FORCE, or Focused On Reducing Costs Everywhere, program, which saved the company $115 million in costs for the fourth quarter of 2021.

The company's guidance anticipates an effective tax rate of 22% to 24%.

 

Write to Will Feuer at Will.Feuer@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 26, 2022 08:27 ET (13:27 GMT)

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