updated 8/2/2006 8:31:39 AM ET 2006-08-02T12:31:39

Procter & Gamble Co., the maker of Crest toothpaste, Pampers diapers and other well-known household products, said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit grew 36 percent, as price increases helped boost revenue.

Quarterly profit was $1.9 billion, or 55 cents per share, compared to $1.39 billion, or 52 cents per share, during the same period last year.

The latest results include a dilution of between 6 cents and 8 cents from the company’s acquisition of Gillette.

Revenue climbed 25 percent to $17.84 billion, from $14.26 billion last year. Organic sales, which exclude the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign exchange, increased 8 percent.

Analysts, on average, predicted a profit of 54 cents on earnings of $17.5 billion, according to a Thomson Financial poll.

Sales results were helped by price increases across several segments and the addition of the Gillette business acquired late last year. In addition, unit volume grew 23 percent, or 6 percent excluding newly acquired or former businesses.

Beauty unit sales grew 9 percent to $5.44 billion, helped by growth from the company’s Pantene, Head and Shoulders, Oil of Olay and other brands. Health Care sales jumped 35 percent to $1.97 billion, buoyed by adding the Gillette Oral Care business. Household care sales grew 9 percent to $4.35 billion, helped by price increases and gains from brands including Tide and Ariel.

Baby care and family care sales grew 4 percent to $3.08 billion, as price increases in the U.S. and Western Europe offset rising commodity and energy costs.

Sales at the division that markets pet health, snacks and coffee products grew 2 percent to $1.11 billion as a double-digit earnings increase in snacks offset a decrease in coffee and pet health.

For the year, profit grew 25 percent to $8.68 billion, or $2.64 per share, from $6.92 billion, or $2.53 per share last year. Revenue gained 20 percent to $68.22 billion, from $56.74 billion last year.

The company expects 2007 earnings to be between $2.96 to $3, including a 12 cent to 18 cent dilution due to Gillette. Sales are expected to grow 8 percent to 11 percent from 2006 levels.

Analysts expect a profit of $2.99 on revenue of $68.03 billion

P&G expects to report a first-quarter profit of 76 cents to 78 cents, with Gillette-related costs diluting earnings by 5 cents to 7 cents. It expects organic sales growth of between 5 percent and 7 percent.

Analysts are looking for a profit of 78 cents on revenue of $18.24 billion.

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