Feb 1, 2018

Opening Quote: Unilever — what a difference a year makes  

Underlying sales growth in 2017 was 3.1 per cent - or 3.4 per cent excluding the soon to be sold spreads business - meeting the company's post bid target of 3-5 per cent. Underlying sales growth was positive in all of its major product categories: personal care was up by 2.9 per cent; homecare by 4.4 per cent, foods by 1 per cent, and refreshment by 4.9 per cent. As a result, pre-tax profit rose 9 per cent to €8.1bn, from £7.5bn in 2016, on turnover that was up 1.9 per cent on a reported basis to €53.7bn, including an adverse currency impact of -2.1 per cent and 0.9 per cent from acquisitions net of disposals. Unilever said this profit uplift had been achieved even though "Overall market conditions remained challenging" last year, and limiting that sales volume increase to 1 per cent. What's more, Unilever said its effective tax rate was sharply lower at 20.8 per cent, against 26.2 per cent in the prior year.

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