Unilever Sales Beat Estimates Fueled By Summer Ice-Cream Demand
Unilever reported third-quarter sales growth that beat estimates thanks to increased demand for its Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s ice creams in the U.S. and Europe during the summer months.
Underlying revenue rose 3.2 percent, London- and Rotterdam-based Unilever said Thursday, compared with the 2.8 percent median estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Growth slowed from the second quarter’s 4.7 percent increase as the volume of goods sold decelerated for the third straight period. Sales rose 4.5 percent in the unit that includes ice cream, well above the expected 0.8 percent decline.
To offset a slowdown in the emerging world, which accounts for almost two-thirds of its sales, Unilever has acquired businesses such as Dollar Shave Club and Seventh Generation to buoy growth in its male grooming and homecare businesses. The company is reportedly embroiled in a dispute with British grocer Tesco Plc over Brexit-related price increases that resulted in its products being pulled from Tesco’s online store. More than 90 percent of Unilever’s sales come outside the U.K.
“Ice cream had another strong season helped as last year by good European weather and strong innovations behind our premium brands,” Unilever said in a statement. “Consumer demand remained weak and in the markets in which we operate volumes have slowed further.”
Underlying sales exclude acquisitions, divestments and currency fluctuations.
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