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Unilever sales up on beauty segment, emerging markets sales


Anglo-Dutch company Unilever reported third-quarter growth, on the back on strong beauty segment revenues and increased sales in its emerging markets.

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The fast-moving consumer goods firm, co-headquartered in London and Rotterdam, said turnover increased 5.8%, which included a positive impact of 2.3% from currency and 0.8% from acquisitions.

Unilever said underlying sales growth was 2.9% for the third quarter, with 1.4% from volume and 1.5% from price.

The company’s Beauty & Personal Care underlying sales grew 2.8%, with 2.1% from volume and 0.7% from price. Beauty growth in emerging markets was helped by activations such as the extension of Clear Men into skin cleansing in China. Unilever’s prestige brands, such as Dermalogica, Hourglass and Living Proof, “continued to perform well,” it added.

Elsewhere, Home Care underlying sales grew 5.4%, while Foods & Refreshment underlying sales grew 1.7%.

“We have maintained momentum in the quarter, with a good balance between volume and price. Emerging markets and Home Care have been the key growth drivers. We will step-up competitive top line performance through innovation and portfolio evolution to serve the faster growing geographies and channels,” said Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope.

Unilever’s South East Asian market continued to grow well, while growth in India continued to soften, as did China, which “slowed a little” during the quarter.

In Latin America, the economic environment remained difficult, said Unilever, while in Europe and North America, growth remained low.

“We are committed to delivering superior long-term financial performance and balanced, compound growth of the top and bottom line through our sustainable business model. We are taking action to remain relevant to the consumer of the future, such as setting stretching goals on plastic use, which we recently announced,” added Jope.

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Unilever reaffirmed its guidance for 3 to 4% organic sales growth this year, and for operating margins to reach 20% by 2020. Unilever shares have climbed nearly 15% this year.