Last updated: August 24. 2013 10:04PM - 359 Views

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LIMA — Two of the region’s top employers, Ford Motor Co. and Procter & Gamble, posted strong earnings reports Wednesday.

P&G, which has a laundry detergent plant in Bath Township, reported net income of $2.57 billion for the quarter. Ford Motor Co., which has an engine plant in Bath Township, reported net income of $1.6 billion for the quarter.

Ford used record earnings in its North American division to drive the earnings. The North America pre-tax profit was $2.4 billion — the highest quarterly profit since at least 2000, when the company began reflecting the region as a separate business unit.

The company’s total company quarterly pre-tax profit of $2.1 billion, or 41 cents per share, was $147 million lower than a year ago, largely because of weaker results in the Europe and South America markets, including a loss of $462 million in Europe, company officials said.

“Our strong first quarter results provide further proof that our One Ford plan continues to deliver,” Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement. “Our plan remains centered on serving customers in all markets around the world with a full family of vehicles — small, medium and large; cars, utilities and trucks — each with the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.”

Procter & Gamble said its net income rose 6 percent in the January to March quarter, as the company cut costs and gained market share in North America and elsewhere.

However, the world’s largest consumer product maker issued a weak fourth-quarter outlook.

New products such as Tide Pods in North America, which the company is now rolling out in Mexico, helped P&G hold or increase market share in categories representing more than 50 percent of its sales globally and two-thirds of its sales in the U.S. Other new product introductions include Oil of Olay CC Cream and the Swiffer Sweeper with Gain scent. Tide Pods are made in Lima.

But marketing new products is expensive. Executives on a news conference call said the weak outlook was partly due to the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency but also because it must spend more to introduce the new products. P&G spends more on advertising than any other company, according to Kantar Media.

P&G’s net income for the January-to-March quarter rose to $2.57 billion, or 88 cents per share. That compares with net income of $2.41 billion, or 82 cents per share in 2012.

“Strong cost savings enabled us to exceed our outlook on the bottom line,” CEO Bob McDonald said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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