Tissue World Magazine
Alexandra Stuthridge, Technical Business Manager, BioProducts Institute (BPI)

Kimberly-Clark (K-C) has appointed the president of K-C Professional – Kim Underhill – group president K-C North America.

In her new role, Underhill will lead the company’s $8bn North American consumer business.

She is succeeding Larry Allgaier who the company said has “announced his intent to pursue opportunities outside of the company”.

Aaron Powell, president, K-C Europe, Middle East and Africa, has been named president of K-C Professional.

A successor to Powell in the EMEA region will be named in the near future. Both will report to Mike Hsu, president and COO, and the moves are effective immediately.

Underhill has led K-C Professional since 2014. From 2011 to 2014, she served as president of the company’s consumer business in Europe. Powell previously served as president for K-C Professional in North America.

In April, the company reported a net sales increase of 5% to $4.7bn compared with the same period a year ago in its first-quarter results.

Changes in foreign currency exchange rates benefited sales by 3%.

Chairman and chief executive Thomas J. Falk said: “I’m encouraged by the 2% organic sales growth we delivered in the first quarter, led by improved performance in North America.

“While our margins were impacted by significant commodity inflation, we’re taking actions to increase net realised revenue and reduce costs in order to improve performance.

“We are broadly on track with our plan for the year and we remain optimistic about our opportunities to create long-term shareholder value through execution of our Global Business Plan strategies.”

First quarter operating profit was $247m in 2018 and $848m in 2017. Results in 2018 included $577m of charges related to the company’s 2018 Global Restructuring Programme. In its consumer tissue segment, first quarter sales of $1.6bn were up 9% while volumes increased 7%.

Changes in currency rates benefited sales by more than 3%, however first quarter operating profit of $249 m decreased 11%.

It was impacted by input cost inflation and unfavourable product mix.

Sales in North America increased 6% while sales in developing and emerging markets increased 7%. Volumes increased more than 4%, driven by Asia-Pacific, while sales in developed markets outside North America increased 17%.