Unilever has failed to reach its turnover forecast in its second quarter of this fiscal year. The continuing recession and slower growth in the emerging countries have slowed down growth in general.
Slower growth in emerging countries
The underlying turnover growth reached 3.8 % in the past quarter, while analysts had expected 4.3 %. CFO Jean-Marc Huet told Reuters that an overall slower Asian growth is one of the biggest reasons for the lower results, while the difficult Russian situation has not helped either. Growth in the emerging countries reached 6.6 %, while last year easily reached 10 %.
Total turnover for the first semester dropped 5.5 % to 24.1 billion euro, because of negative exchange rate fluctuations in South Africa, Argentina and Indonesia among others. Net profit for that period reached 3 billion euro, 12 % more than the same period last year.
However, Unilever is not worried and CEO Paul Polman remains convinced that the company will still grow faster than the other competitors in the market. "Our markets have been challenging and we have experienced a further slow-down in the emerging countries whilst developed markets are not yet picking up. [...]We continued to grow ahead of our markets driven by strong innovations. [...] We remain focused on achieving another year of profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable core operating margin improvement and strong cash flow.