Kimberly-Clark beat forecasts with quarterly net sales that inched up to $4.6 billion, thanks to its paper-based line of products.
In total, the CPG manufacturer’s consumer tissue segment, which includes brands such as Kleenex, Viva and Scott, increased 12% to $1.6 billion for the three months ending June 30.
“In North American consumer tissue, organic sales increased 22%,” said Mike Hsu, CEO of Kimberly-Clark, during an earnings call with analysts. “Category demand was strong, reflecting increased at-home consumption and some continued consumer stock-up.”
He added: “In tissue, people at home more equals more use at home.”
The same gains didn’t apply to the company’s other units. Kimberly-Clark’s personal care segment, which includes Huggies and Kotex, declined 2% to $2.2 billion. It’s b-to-b division, which provides tissue and toilet paper to workplaces, fell 12% to $724 million.
Kimberly-Clark now expects net sales to increase between 1% and 2% for 2020.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, toilet paper sales have, in a sense, become a gauge of consumer fear and anxiety during the crisis. In mid-March, year-over-year U.S. sales spiked 216.8%, according to Nielsen. Demand remained at elevated levels until mid-June, when sales finally fell lower than they were the same week last year.
In late March, Kimberly-Clark’s Cottonelle brand discouraged people from hoarding toilet paper in a campaign titled #ShareASquare. “Instead of stockpiling toilet paper, let’s stock up on generosity,” read a line from the 30-second spot, which ran on TV throughout April.
Figures from Euromonitor International show nearly three quarters of the toilet paper market is controlled by three manufacturers: Procter & Gamble, Georgia-Pacific and Kimberly-Clark.
Last month, Kimberly-Clark named Zena Srivatsa Arnold, former global head of growth at Google, as its chief digital and marketing officer. She’s tasked with transforming the company into a more digital-forward organization.