Unilever beats forecasts on emerging markets rebound
After battering global shares in consumer goods giants with a profit warning in October, Unilever, the company behind Dove soaps and Lipton iced teas, said there had been a considerable pick-up in countries like India and China.
Emerging markets have become a major factor in the company’s financial health, providing nearly 60 per cent of Unilever's sales.
So news that revenues from such regions were up 8.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of the year compared with the previous three months’ disappointing 5.9 per cent was greeted with a chunky rise in the share price, which jumped 85p, or nearly 4 per cent, to 2522p.
“The good news is that a big proportion is just good volume growth — we’re selling more products,” said chief finance officer Jean-Marc Huet.
He said the improvement in regions like Latin America and South-east Asia had been particularly marked since September.
While discretionary spending remained sluggish in the muted economic environment, soaps, shampoos and laundry sales were “heating up”, he said.
Darren Shirley, analyst at stockbroker Shore Capital, said: “We welcome this achievement, which given generally challenging market conditions, is all the more commendable to our minds.”
Chief executive Paul Polman remained cautious, however, on developed markets, which the company said “remained weak with little sign of any overall improvement”. That negativity was despite the more positive economic indicators of recent months.
Turnover for the full year came in at €49.8 billion (£41.1 billion), down 3 per cent on the previous year. The bounceback in fourth-quarter emerging markets gave an overall increase in those regions for 2013 of 8.7 per cent.
Operating profit for the year was up 8 per cent at €7.5 billion.
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Dublin court rules brain-dead pregnant mother's life support can be switched off
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...