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Unilever sees 3.8% rise in third-quarter sales

The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company saw sales boosted by summer heatwave in Europe and double-digit growth in Brazil

Source: Bloomberg

Unilever reported promising third-quarter (Q3) 2018 results, with sales growth of 3.8% generating €12.5 billion in revenues, up 4.8% from the same period last year and only marginally below analysts’ estimates of €12.56 billion.

Growth accelerated across all three of the company’s core divisions – foods and beverages, cosmetics and home care – with the summer heatwave in Europe boosting ice cream sales in a year where the company introduced a new Kinder product.

‘We were able to increase prices whilst still maintaining good volume growth which reflects the strength of our brands and quality of our innovation programme,’ CEO Paul Polman said in a statement.

‘We continue to expect underlying sales growth in the 3% - 5% range, an improvement in underlying operating margin and strong cash flow. We remain on track for our 2020 goals,’ he added.

In Latin America the company reported sales growth of 1.5%, with Brazil posting particularly strong results with sales up 10%, bolstered by a recovery from the truckers’ strike in the second quarter and a return to positive price growth.

The strong set of results come only weeks after the company’s management team were forced to bail on their plan to move its headquarters from London to Rotterdam after shareholders voted against the idea as it would mean Unilever dropping out the FTSE 100 index.

But despite the difference of opinion, the company’s share price has remained relatively flat, while rivals Nestle and Danone have witnessed declines of 5% and 11%, respectively.

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