Persil powers Unilever to 8% profit rise
Saturday 07 August 1999
Persil, whose battle with Procter & Gamble's Ariel is one of the fiercest in the fast-moving consumer goods market, did particularly well in the UK, which was one of the first markets on which the washing detergent tablets were launched. The product is now being rolled out to other countries.
Unilever, whose other brands include Flora margarine and Elizabeth Arden perfume, showed yesterday that sales growth has returned to its business, helped by a recovery in the Far East and the strong economy in North America.
Sales in the second quarter rose by 3 per cent and Niall FitzGerald, the chairman, said that a similar growth rate could be expected in the second half of the year.
Reporting a 2 per cent increase in first-half profits to pounds 1.4bn, which included an 8 per cent rise in the second quarter, Unilever said UK profits were dented by a re-organisation at Bird's Eye Walls.
But in addition to the Persil gains, the group's Elida-Faberge toiletries business has secured 55 per cent of the UK's pounds 350m deodorant market, helped by the recent launch of Dove deodorant. The brand joins the group's portfolio which already includes Sure, Lynx, Impulse and Vaseline
The second quarter figures showed a mixed set of regional performances across the group's global business. In Europe, sales fell by 2 per cent, largely due to a sharp fall in demand in Eastern Europe.
In the US, sales were 1 per cent ahead with strong performances in home and personal care offsetting a decline in food, where price rises had a negative impact. The over all margin in the second quarter rose to 10.5 per cent from 9.3 per cent in the same quarter of the previous year.
But Mr FitzGerald cautioned that improved growth in Western Europe in the coming months may be balanced by slower growth in North America, while recovery in East Asia could be countered by difficulties in Latin American and Eastern European markets.
Profits in the Asia Pacific rebounded 56 per cent, led by strong sales in India, recovery in South-east Asia and the first fruits of Unilever's Chinese restructuring.
"Markets are much improved. It's still early days but we are seeing benefits from the recovery." said a Unilever spokesman.
North American profits rose 48 per cent in the quarter helped by recent company restructuring, the absence of major new launch costs and improved economic conditions.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Watch a man race the Circle line and win
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Islamic State: Pope is 'being targeted by Isis', Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See warns
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
Scotland independence: A nation divided against itself: Brown says SNP are liars. Darling joins in. Salmond fights back...
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Richard III: Two years after his body was found, scientists discover how he died
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
iJobs Money & Business
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...
£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...