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Kimberly-Clark Corp. says sales of tissue and toilet paper rose 13% in the first quarter as consumers stocked up in preparation for the coronavirus pandemic, helping the company beat Wall Street estimates for profit and sales.
The company, however, suspended its forecast for the year, citing uncertainties caused by the health crisis that has killed at least 177,000 people globally, including over 45,000 in the United States.
Kimberly-Clark makes several pulp-based products, such as Scott and Cottonelle toilet paper, Kleenex facial tissue and Kotex feminine hygiene products, a majority of which were in high demand as consumers stocked up before the lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus.
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Volumes increased 14% in its consumer tissue segment with sales of $1.7 billion, the company said Wednesday. Sales in the personal care business, that includes diapers and feminine hygiene products, rose 6% to $2.4 billion.
"We increased investments in our business, and our market positions remain broadly healthy,'' Chief Executive Officer Mike Hsu said in a statement.