We discuss our expectations regarding future performance, events and outcomes, such as our business outlook and objectives in this Form 10-K, as well as in our quarterly and annual reports, current reports on Form 8-K, press releases and other written and oral communications. All statements, except for historical and present factual information, are “forward-looking statements” and are based on financial data and business plans available only as of the time the statements are made, which may become outdated or incomplete. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or other factors, except to the extent required by law. Forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain, and investors must recognize that events could significantly differ from our expectations.
The following discussion of “risk factors” identifies significant factors that may adversely affect our business, operations, financial position or future financial performance. This information should be read in
The Procter & Gamble Company 3
conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis and the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes incorporated in this report. The following discussion of risks is not all inclusive but is designed to highlight what we believe are important factors to consider when evaluating our expectations. These and other factors could cause our future results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements and from historical trends, perhaps materially.
MACROECONOMIC CONDITIONS AND RELATED FINANCIAL RISKS
Our business is subject to numerous risks as a result of our having significant operations and sales in international markets, including foreign currency fluctuations, currency exchange or pricing controls and localized volatility.
We are a global company, with operations in approximately 70 countries and products sold in more than 180 countries and territories around the world. We hold assets, incur liabilities, generate sales and pay expenses in a variety of currencies other than the U.S. dollar, and our operations outside the U.S. generate more than fifty percent of our annual net sales. Fluctuations in exchange rates for foreign currencies have and could continue to reduce the U.S. dollar value of sales, earnings and cash flows we receive from non-U.S. markets, increase our supply costs (as measured in U.S. dollars) in those markets, negatively impact our competitiveness in those markets or otherwise adversely impact our business results or financial condition. Further, we have a significant amount of foreign currency debt and derivatives as part of our capital markets activities. The maturity cash outflows of these instruments could be adversely impacted by significant appreciation of foreign currency exchange rates (particularly the Euro), which could adversely impact our overall cash flows. Moreover, discriminatory or conflicting fiscal or trade policies in different countries, including changes to tariffs and existing trade policies and agreements, could adversely affect our results. See also the Results of Operations and Cash Flow, Financial Condition and Liquidity sections of the MD&A, and the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes.
We also have businesses and maintain local currency cash balances in a number of countries with currency exchange, import authorization, pricing or other controls or restrictions, such as Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Argentina and Turkey. Our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows could be adversely impacted if we are unable to successfully manage such controls and restrictions, continue existing business operations and repatriate earnings from overseas, or if new or increased tariffs, quotas, exchange or price controls, trade barriers or similar restrictions are imposed on our business.
Additionally, our business, operations or employees have been and could continue to be adversely affected (including by the need to de-consolidate or even exit certain businesses in particular countries) by political volatility, labor market disruptions or other crises or vulnerabilities in individual
countries or regions, including political instability or upheaval, broad economic instability or sovereign risk related to a default by or deterioration in the creditworthiness of local governments, particularly in emerging markets.
Uncertain economic or social conditions may adversely impact demand for our products or cause our customers and other business partners to suffer financial hardship, which could adversely impact our business.
Our business could be negatively impacted by reduced demand for our products related to one or more significant local, regional or global economic or social disruptions. These disruptions have included and may in the future include: a slow-down or recession in the general economy; reduced market growth rates; tighter credit markets for our suppliers, vendors or customers; a significant shift in government policies; significant social unrest; the deterioration of economic relations between countries or regions, including potential negative consumer sentiment toward non-local products or sources; or the inability to conduct day-to-day transactions through our financial intermediaries to pay funds to or collect funds from our customers, vendors and suppliers. Additionally, these and other economic conditions may cause our suppliers, distributors, contractors or other third-party partners to suffer financial or operational difficulties that they cannot overcome, resulting in their inability to provide us with the materials and services we need, in which case our business and results of operations could be adversely affected. Customers may also suffer financial hardships due to economic conditions such that their accounts become uncollectible or are subject to longer collection cycles. In addition, if we are unable to generate sufficient sales, income and cash flow, it could affect the Company’s ability to achieve expected share repurchase and dividend payments.
Disruptions in credit markets or to our banking partners or changes to our credit ratings may reduce our access to credit or overall liquidity.
A disruption in the credit markets or a downgrade of our current credit rating could increase our future borrowing costs and impair our ability to access capital and credit markets on terms commercially acceptable to us, which could adversely affect our liquidity and capital resources or significantly increase our cost of capital. In addition, we rely on top-tier banking partners in key markets around the world, who themselves face economic, societal, political, and other risks, for access to credit and to facilitate collection and payment programs. A disruption to one or more of these top-tier partners could impact our ability to draw on existing credit facilities or otherwise adversely affect our cash flows.
Changing political conditions could adversely impact our business and financial results.
Changes in the political conditions in markets in which we manufacture, sell or distribute our products may be difficult to predict and may adversely affect our business and financial results. Results of elections, referendums or other political processes in certain markets in which our products