Oct 22, 2020

Unilever rides high as housebound consumers spend

Unilever drove its sales growth far above expectations in the third quarter, as consumers spending time at home bought up products from Lifebuoy soap to Hellmann's mayonnaise. Hellmann's benefited from households eating meals at home, with sales up by a mid-teens figure and a vegan version now available in 30 countries, Unilever said. Consumers had abandoned products such as deodorant and skincare during lockdowns earlier in the year, but these recovered somewhat in the third quarter, the company said. Martin Deboo, an analyst at Jefferies, said: "After strong Q3 results from P&G and Nestlé, among others, we are not surprised that Unilever has beaten expectations this quarter. That said, this has not always been the case for Unilever, and so we welcome it." Under Alan Jope, who took over as chief executive last year, Unilever has been seeking to unify its dual-company structure into a single entity based in the UK to make disposals and acquisitions easier.

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