Unilever Beats Quarterly Sales Growth Forecasts In Q1

By Reuters
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Unilever Beats Quarterly Sales Growth Forecasts In Q1

Unilever's first-quarter sales grew by a better than expected 4.4%, the company said, as one of the world's biggest consumer goods companies won back shoppers who had traded down to cheaper products.

Unilever, which makes products ranging from Dove soaps to Hellmann's mayonnaise, said it was confident in its ability to deliver sustained volume growth and maintained its full-year outlook.

Sales Volumes

The company increased its sales volumes by 2.2%, its second quarter of growth after several consecutive quarters of volumes falling. It raised prices by 2.2% during the quarter.

Analysts had expected sales volumes to rise by 1.2% and prices to increase by 1.8%. Its underlying sales growth of 4.4% was above the 3% estimate seen by the analysts in a company-provided consensus.

Consumer goods companies are fighting to recover volumes lost after months of price increases introduced to pass higher input costs onto the customer. Prices had risen initially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


'Growth Action Plan'

“Unilever delivered improved volume growth in the first quarter," commented CEO Hein Schumacher. "This was driven by our Power Brands which saw underlying sales growth of 6.1%, with strong performances from Dove, Knorr, Rexona and Sunsilk.

"We are implementing the Growth Action Plan at speed, focused on three clear priorities: delivering higher-quality growth, creating a simpler and more productive business, and embedding a strong performance focus. This is underpinned by our commitment to do fewer things, better and with greater impact."

Schumacher added that while the group's transformation is at an "early stage", it is confident in its ability to deliver sustained volume growth and a positive mix as it accelerates its gross margin expansion.

Additional reporting by ESM.

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