Oct 19, 2017
Unilever says emerging markets a bright spot amid poor Q3 weather
Unilever, the consumer goods group that fought off a $143bn takeover bid from Kraft Heinz this year, said growth in its third quarter had been hit by poor weather in Europe and the hurricanes in the Americas but that it was seeing a recovery in demand from some of its biggest emerging markets. The Anglo-Dutch group behind Dove soap, Magnum ice cream and Lipton tea said on Thursday that underlying sales - excluding M&A and at constant currencies - increased by 2.6 per cent on the same quarter last year to €13.2bn. That was below consensus expectations of 3.9 growth and the first half's 3 per cent rise in underlying sales. Sales in emerging markets - where Unilever makes 57 per cent of its revenues - rose by 6.3 per cent, but fell by 2.3 per cent in developed markets. While conditions in our developed markets remain challenging, we are starting to see signs of improvement in some of our biggest emerging markets including India and China. The shares have risen by 32 per cent in the year to date, in the wake of the Kraft Heinz bid and after the company promised €6bn of savings to boost profit margins from last year's 16 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020, and a €5bn share buyback.
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