The Procter & Gamble Company reported third quarter fiscal year 2020 net sales of $17.2 billion, an increase of five percent versus the prior year.
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Excluding the net impacts of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures, organic sales increased six percent. Diluted net earnings per share were $1.12, an eight percent increase versus the prior year. Core earnings per share increased 10% to $1.17. Currency-neutral core EPS increased 15% versus the prior year.
Operating cash flow was $4.1 billion for the quarter. Free cash flow productivity was 113%. The company returned $2.8 billion of cash to shareholders through $1.9 billion in dividend payments and $900 million of common stock repurchases in the third quarter.
“The strong results we delivered this quarter are a direct reflection of the integral role our products play in meeting the daily health, hygiene and cleaning needs of consumers around the world,” said David Taylor, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Net sales in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 were $17.2 billion, up five percent versus the prior year. Unfavorable foreign exchange negatively impacted sales by two percentage points for the quarter. Excluding the impacts of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures, organic sales increased six percent driven primarily by an increase in organic shipment volume.
Organic shipment volume increased six percent as strong consumer demand in North America and certain European markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic was partially offset by volume decreases in certain Asian markets due primarily to temporary disruption of consumer access to retail markets related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased pricing contributed one percent to net sales. Mix was neutral to net sales growth.
Diluted net earnings per share were $1.12, an eight percent increase versus the prior year, driven primarily by the increase in net sales and an increase in operating margin. Core earnings per share were $1.17, a 10% increase versus the prior year, due to higher non-core restructuring charges versus the prior year. Currency-neutral core earnings per share increased 15% for the quarter.
The company adjusted its outlook for fiscal 2020 all-in sales growth, from a range of four to five percent growth to a range of three to four percent growth versus the prior year, to reflect stronger headwinds from foreign exchange. The revised growth estimate includes a negative two percentage point impact from foreign exchange, partially offset by a modest positive impact from acquisitions and divestitures. The company maintained its guidance for organic sales growth in the range of four to five percent.
The company maintained its guidance range for fiscal 2020 all-in GAAP diluted net earnings per share growth at 235% to 245%, noting that the comparison period is significantly depressed by the Gillette Shave Care impairment charges in fiscal 2019. P&G also maintained its fiscal 2020 guidance for core earnings per share growth at the range of eight to eleven percent growth versus fiscal 2019.
The Company expects to pay over $7.5 billion in dividends and repurchase $7 billion to $8 billion of common shares in fiscal 2020.