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Unilever Reports Strong First Half Growth

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Unilever Reports Strong First Half Growth

Unilever Reports Strong First Half Growth
August 05
17:07 2011
According to Unilever, its development strategy is delivering results after the group reported strong growth in the first half of 2011. Turnover for the half-year was up 4.1% to Eur22.8b. Underlying sales growth was 7.1% in the second quarter and 5.7% in the first-half. Underlying volume growth was 1.9% in the second quarter and 2.2% in the first-half.

 

Underlying operating margin for the half-year was down 20 bps with the impact of high input cost inflation offset by pricing and savings. Stepped-up continuous improvement programmes generated efficiencies in advertising and promotions, leading to lower indirect costs.

 

Advertising and promotional spend, at around Eur3b, was higher than the second-half of 2010 but was down 150 bps against last year’s exceptionally high figure.

 

Commenting on the group’s strongest growth since the third quarter of 2008, chief executive Paul Polman says: “We are making encouraging progress in the transformation of Unilever to a sustainable growth company. Volumes were robust and in line with the market, despite having taken price increases. This shows the strength of our brands and innovations.” He adds: “More so than ever, in today’s volatile environment, our number one priority is to ensure that our brands are managed for the long-term health of the business.”

 

Unilever’s Home Care and Ice Cream & Beverages delivered underlying sales growth in the first-half of 6.7% and 6.4% respectively. Personal Care followed at 5.5% and Savoury, Dressings & Spreads at 5.0%.

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