Following its fourth-quarter results, Kimberly-Clark plans to pursue targeted growth initiatives and support growth opportunities with increased advertising and research spending.
The company’s net sales of $5.3 billion were even with the year-ago period. Organic sales, which exclude the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates and lost sales as a result of European strategic changes and pulp and tissue restructuring actions, rose 5%, including an 11% increase in K-C International.
"The strength of our results this past year gives us added confidence that we will continue to execute our global business plan well going forward,” chairman and CEO Thomas J. Falk said. “We expect to achieve a healthy level of cost savings, which should help fund brand investments and improve margins. We will also focus on cash generation and allocate capital in shareholder-friendly ways. And while we expect significant currency headwinds and higher commodity costs this year, we plan to deliver solid bottom-line growth. We remain optimistic about our prospects to drive profitable growth and generate attractive returns to shareholders."
In November 2013, Kimberly-Clark said it was pursuing a tax-free spin-off of its health care business. A spin-off would create a stand-alone, publicly traded health care company with approximately $1.6 billion in annual net sales and leading market positions in both surgical and infection prevention products and medical devices.
Company management continues to analyze the potential spin-off and expects to seek approval from the board of directors in the second quarter of 2014. Kimberly-Clark continues to expect that the spin-off will be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2014, assuming board approval and subject to market, regulatory and other conditions.