Unilever Q1 results: will it hit sales growth target in 2020?

The British-Dutch consumer goods company is targeting 3% - 5% sales growth in 2020, with investors eager to see how its first three months of trading have gone on Thursday amid challenging market conditions.

Unilever will unveil its first quarter (Q1) results on Thursday, with investors eager to get an update on its first three months of trading to see whether the company is on track to hit its sales growth guidance for 2020.

This year, the British-Dutch consumer goods company is expecting its underlying sales growth is to be in the lower half of its multi-year 3% - 5% range, with it heavily weighted towards the second-half of 2020.

‘While we expect an improvement from the fourth quarter of 2019 into the first half of 2020, first half underlying sales growth will be below 3%,’ Unilever CEO Alan Jope said.

Unilever expected to raise dividend

The strength of Unilever’s business model is helping it to weather the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis far better than many of its blue-chip rivals.

The FTSE 100 is trading 25% lower on a year-to-date basis, while Unilever continues to outperform the broader market with the stock losing just 3% of its value over the same period.

Not only that, but the Magnum ice cream maker is also one of the few FTSE 100 companies to not scrap its dividend pay-out this year as a result of the challenging market conditions. In fact, the consumer goods company is even expected to raise its dividend by around 9% in 2020.

Investors will be paying close attention to whether the slowdown in Asia has continued to impact revenues in its first quarter of trading, with the market crucial to it hitting its overall sales growth target this year.

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