WASHINGTON — Despite rising input costs and other economic challenges, U.S. consumer products manufacturers experienced a 10.6% sales growth and delivered a shareholder return of 7.3% last year, according to “The Food, Beverage and Consumer Products Industry: Achieving Superior Financial Performance in a Challenging Economy 2008,” a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The report found that the aggregate market index, known as the CPG Market Weighted Index, closely tracked with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 for most of 2007 and was in line with the market for the first two years of the most recent three (2005-2007). “The consumer products sector showed incredible resilience this past year in the face of a tough economy, and we saw many companies using creative strategies to manage costs while delivering value to consumers,” said Stephen Sibert, GMA senior vice president for industry affairs. Such strategies included positive sustainability reporting, which can enhance a company’s bottom line and shareholder value; increased collaboration with retailers; and more aggressive international marketing. The report will be presented via Webcast by PricewaterhouseCoopers and GMA on June 10.
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