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Unilever sees a boost in third quarter sales

By: Reuters Editorial | 22 October 2020

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Unilever reported a stronger-than-expected return to sales growth in the third quarter on Thursday led by emerging markets, where it generates the bulk of its revenue. Ciara Lee reports

In the second quarter it posted its first sales drop in 16 years.

But there was better news for Unilever on Thursday (October 22)

Third quarter sales growth came in stronger than expected.

Underlying sales rose 4.4 percent for the Anglo-Dutch maker of Dove soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Tresemme shampoo.

That was more than three times the gain that analysts had forecast.

It was led by a 5.3 percent rise in emerging markets, where it generates the bulk of its revenue.

Sales in developed markets rose 3.1 percent.

Helping generate a turnover of 12.9 billion euros, or 15.2 billion dollars.

Earlier in the year Unilever had been hurt by steep declines in food eaten out of the home and the pandemic’s impact on emerging markets.

And withdrew its annual sales growth target in April.

Despite the bright news, it said on Thursday that it would still not be giving any short-term guidance.

Like its larger peer Nestle, Unilever has been buying assets to get more exposure to fast-growing categories like vegan foods and premium beauty.

Nestle reported a strong acceleration in third-quarter sales and raised its outlook earlier in the week.

Unilever is planning to unify its dual-headed corporate structure into one London-based entity, with the move expected to complete next month.

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