Marmite maker Unilever hikes prices amid ‘elevated’ cost inflation

Alan Jope, chief executive officer of the company, held firm on the group’s profit guidance despite rising costs.

Henry Saker-Clark
Thursday 21 October 2021 08:23
Unilever has increased prices amid a jump in inflation through its supply chain (Chris Radburn/PA)
Unilever has increased prices amid a jump in inflation through its supply chain (Chris Radburn/PA)

Consumer goods giant Unilever has reported a rise in sales for the past quarter as it was boosted by price hikes.

However, the Marmite and Ben & Jerry’s manufacturer also warned it has seen “strongly elevated” levels of cost inflation and expects this to continue into next year.

Alan Jope, chief executive officer of the company, nevertheless held firm on the group’s profit guidance despite rising costs.

He added: “We have and will continue to respond across our categories and markets, taking appropriate pricing action and implementing a range of productivity measures to offset increased costs.

“We continue to expect that we will deliver in line with our margin guidance of around flat for the full year.”

It came as the company, which also makes brands including Dove soap and PG Tips reported a 2.5% increase in underlying sales for the third quarter of 2021 as it was boosted by “good growth” in the US, China and India.

Unilever said its sales volumes were 1.5% lower for the three-month period but saw growth on the back of a 4.1% increase in pricing.

It said it has taken action on pricing to offset the impact of more expensive commodities, as well as other cost rises such as logistics.

Graeme Pitkethly, chief finance officer of the group, said the business has seen “logistics challenges” in Europe.

“In the UK and Ireland we have had many challenges to manage and there has been a lot of work in planning,” he said.

“We’ve have had to work hard with logistics to ensure supply and on-shelf availability of products, where we have seen improvement.”

He said freight costs in the UK and elsewhere in Europe have also been on the rise.

Unilever said its UK operating saw “low single-digit” decline against strong figures for the same period last year.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in