British-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever has been suffering from currency fluctuations in the past quarter. Turnover decreased by 4.8 %, but without those fluctuations there would have been a 3.8 % increase. Still, even that growth number was below analysts' expectations of a 4.3 % rise.
Volume growth and increased prices
The turnover for the past quarter went down to 5 billion euros, in spite of volume growth (+2.4 %) and higher prices (+1.4 %). "Growth was accelerating in all our divisions during the third quarter," says Dutch CEO Paul Polman. "We managed to raise our prices and keep good volume growth at the same time, which serves as a testimony to the strength of our brands and the quality of our innovation programme. Our long-term focus remains ensuring qualitative growth."
For the rest of the year, the manufacturer of Knorr, Magnum, Lipton, Dove and others, plans to stick to its earlier predictions: "An underlying sales growth of 3 to 5 %, an improvement of the underlying operational margin and strong cashflow. Our goals for 2020 remain within reach."
After the failed attempt to simplify the double company structure by moving everything to the Netherlands, these quarter results are another letdown for Unilever.