100401.SMH News by Steven Siewert.
Dean Podmore who is pictured in King Street Newtown and does not see himself as a hipster and wears and look as he likes the style rather than following it. SPECIAL SS100401

US giant Proctor & Gamble says the global beard fashion is hurting sales of its shaving products. Photo: Steven Siewert

Procter & Gamble says a growing preference for shaggy styles is trimming razor sales.

Beards are showing up all over, from the curated facial hair favored by Brooklyn hipsters to the solidarity beards sported by the Boston Red Sox baseball team, which in 2013 went from last place in their division to World Series champions.

P&G even called out Movember, when participants grow moustaches to raise money for prostate cancer research. The event cut into grooming sales last quarter, chief financial officer Jon Moeller said on an earnings call.

P&G’s grooming business, which includes shaving cream, razor blades and deodorant, generated $US2.12 billion in revenue during the quarter ended December 31 and accounted for 9.5 per cent of the company’s sales. Though the division’s sales rose 3 per cent, excluding currency effects, John Faucher, an analyst at JPMorgan & Chase Co. in New York, said in a note that sales of non-disposable razors and blades fell 7.8 per cent in the 12 weeks through December 21.

The reason: “Increased interest in facial hair,” he said.

Last month, a group called the Gotham City Beard Alliance, which bills itself as promoting “tolerance and acceptance of all facial hair,” held a beard and mustache competition in downtown Manhattan, with contests for “freestyle,” sideburns and starter mustaches. Even the heavily bearded cast of “Duck Dynasty” are fashionable these days.

P&G and competitor Schick, which is owned by Energizer Holdings also have to contend with upstart razor sellers such as Dollar Shave Club, which sells blade subscriptions for as little as $1 a month. Moeller said today the challengers are small and aren’t having a major impact on P&G’s sales.

Body razor

Moeller said more men are shaving their chests and backs these days. Coming soon from the world’s largest consumer- products company: a body razor.

P&G today said that second-quarter net income fell 16 per cent to $3.43 billion, or $1.18 a share, from $4.06 billion, or $1.39, a year earlier. Excluding some items, profit was $1.21 a share, exceeding the $1.20 average of 20 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.