The disposal of its spreads business last year has led Unilever to post a 1.6% decrease in turnover in the first quarter of its financial year, to €12.4 billion.
The group said that underlying sales were up 3.1%, driven by a 1.2% increase in volume, and a 1.9% price contribution. Underlying sales in emerging markets grew 5.0%, it noted.
Commenting on the group’s performance, Alan Jope, Unilever chief executive said, “We have delivered a solid start that keeps us on track for our full year expectations. Growth was led by emerging markets and was balanced between volume and price.
“Accelerating growth is our number one priority. It requires both great execution and a continued strategic shift into faster growth segments and channels.”
In terms of the business’ various divisions, Beauty & Personal Care was up 3.1%, driven largely by its skin care and deodorants products.
Home Care was up 6.0%, boosted by fabric solutions and hygiene, while Foods & Refreshment grew 1.5%, with ice cream posting a ‘strong’ start to the year
“We saw good performance in key growth channels including out of home and e-commerce and benefited from stronger global innovations and faster and more relevant local innovation,” said Jope.
“The acquisitions we have made since 2015 collectively grew double-digit in the first quarter. With the leadership changes announced in March, we are building the right team to drive our growth agenda.”
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.