Unilever beat its sales forecasts for the first quarter as another big rise in prices from the consumer goods firm triggered only a small dip in volumes.
Unilever reported a 10.5% rise in underlying first-quarter sales to €14.8 billion, beating analysts' average forecast for a 7.2% increase, according to a company-provided consensus.
That included a 10.7% increase in prices and a 0.2% dip in volumes.
Packaged goods companies have been hiking prices as they grapple with a surge in costs of everything from sunflower oil and shipping to packaging and grain.
Consumers have so far coped with the cost-of-living squeeze better than many analysts' had expected, but some warn companies could eventually take a hit to margins if shoppers start switching to cheaper brands in greater numbers.
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'A Good Start To The Year'
“Unilever has had a good start to the year, delivering another quarter of strong topline growth," commented CEO Alan Jope. "Underlying sales growth accelerated to 10.5%, driven by price growth in response to continued high input cost inflation and an improved volume performance.
“We remain focused on navigating through continued macroeconomic uncertainty and are confident in our ability to deliver another year of strong growth, which remains our first priority.”
Rivals P&G and Nestlé have also recently reported stronger than expected quarterly sales, with price hikes offsetting lower volumes.
Unilever reiterated it expected price growth to remain high during the first half of the year, but soften through the year as inflation abates.
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