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Unilever Sales Beat Estimates on Growth in Latin America

Unilever, the maker of Magnum ice cream and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, reported second-quarter sales growth that beat estimates on better-than-expected gains in Latin America.

Underlying revenue increased 2.9 per cent, London- and Rotterdam-based Unilever said Thursday, compared with the 2.5 per cent median estimate of 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Growth accelerated from the first quarter’s 2.8 per cent, which was boosted by an earlier Easter holiday.

“Consumer demand remains weak and in the markets in which we operate volumes are flat,” Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman said in a statement. “Emerging markets continue to be subdued whilst in Europe and North America growth is negligible.”

Polman has responded to the most difficult stretch of his seven-year tenure by acquiring premium skincare brands like Murad and Dermalogica to form a new global business unit targeting consumers willing to spend more. He’s also trying to expand Unilever’s business in China through an enhanced partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Units sold in the period rose 1.3 per cent, supporting the company’s forecast that sales volumes would improve over the course of the year. Latin American sales rose 13.3 per cent, due mainly to higher prices.

Bloomberg News, edited by ESM

 

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