Unilever grows five quarters in a row

English-Dutch Unilever announced this morning that their first quarter of 2011 has been terrific. Turnover rose 7.0% to 10.9 billion euro, owing to both a bigger sales volume and higher prices. Unilever grew in all their categories and most of their regions. Only Western Europe has witnessed a negative underlying sales growth. 

 

Innovation and introduction

CEO Paul Polman expressed his joy about the excellent results “against a backdrop of rising commodity costs, weak consumer confidence and very competitive markets.” He recognises two key factors in his company's good results: innovation (of new products) and introduction (of strong brands in new markets). 

 

Now the integration of Sara Lee is “well on track”, Unilever turns to its next target as it hopes to complete the acquisition of Alberto Culber in quarter two. “We continue to focus on the long term development of the business and our priorities remain: profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable underlying operating margin improvement and strong cash flow”, said Polman.

 

Double figures in Latin America

Unilever's strongest region is the (admittedly, not really geographically limited) region of “Africa, Asia and Central- and Eastern Europe”, earning 42% of Unilever's world total or 4.5 billion euro. Unilever Americas grew to 3.6 billion, while Western Europe reached 2.7 billion. In more detail, Latin-America saw the biggest growth (“double figures”, according to the statement), while Western Europe and CEE “were weaker”.

 

Deodorants are Unilever's strongest general product category, while Dove is one of the biggest growing products – especially in Latin America. Magnum's introduction to the US and Indonesia has been pushing the ice cream department to a huge progress – while soups (like Knorr) had a disappointing quarter due to “the mild winter in Europe”. 

 

Unilever's statement ended with a warning: as in a number of European countries (including Belgium and the Netherlands) quite a few investigations are made by competition agencies, it is possible that some of those might have a negative effect on Unilever's yearly results. Still, the statement ensures that all the possible provisions have been made.

English-Dutch Unilever announced this morning that their first quarter of 2011 has been terrific. Turnover rose 7.0% to 10.9 billion euro, owing to both a bigger sales volume and higher prices. Unilever grew in all their categories and most of their regions. Only Western Europe has witnessed a negative underlying sales growth. 

 

Innovation and introduction

CEO Paul Polman expressed his joy about the excellent results “against a backdrop of rising commodity costs, weak consumer confidence and very competitive markets.” He recognises two key factors in his company's good results: innovation (of new products) and introduction (of strong brands in new markets). 

 

Now the integration of Sara Lee is “well on track”, Unilever turns to its next target as it hopes to complete the acquisition of Alberto Culber in quarter two. “We continue to focus on the long term development of the business and our priorities remain: profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable underlying operating margin improvement and strong cash flow”, said Polman.

 

Double figures in Latin America

Unilever's strongest region is the (admittedly, not really geographically limited) region of “Africa, Asia and Central- and Eastern Europe”, earning 42% of Unilever's world total or 4.5 billion euro. Unilever Americas grew to 3.6 billion, while Western Europe reached 2.7 billion. In more detail, Latin-America saw the biggest growth (“double figures”, according to the statement), while Western Europe and CEE “were weaker”.

 

Deodorants are Unilever's strongest general product category, while Dove is one of the biggest growing products – especially in Latin America. Magnum's introduction to the US and Indonesia has been pushing the ice cream department to a huge progress – while soups (like Knorr) had a disappointing quarter due to “the mild winter in Europe”. 

 

Unilever's statement ended with a warning: as in a number of European countries (including Belgium and the Netherlands) quite a few investigations are made by competition agencies, it is possible that some of those might have a negative effect on Unilever's yearly results. Still, the statement ensures that all the possible provisions have been made.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Technology as a 'margin pressure reliever'

19/06/2017

Technology is able to improve productivity of retailers in various sections within their operations, according to McKinsey. The options are numerous: shelf-stacking robots, back office/workflow process automation, delivery via drones and so on.

Insight: five conclusions following the Amazon - Whole Foods deal

19/06/2017

It was as clear as day that Amazon would one day acquire a supermarket chain, but nevertheless, the news hit everyone like a bombshell. What are the consequences for food retailers worldwide? 

Hudson's Bay Nederland presents brand portfolio

15/06/2017

Hudson's Bay Nederland presented its brand portfolio as part of its preparations for its first ten stores. It is the first time the Canadian company opens a store abroad and it will position itself completely differently.

Are Nike, Universal Studios and Sanrio blocking free competition?

15/06/2017

A week after Brussels targeted American clothing brand Guess, Nike, Universal Studios and Sanrio are now also being examined. They all may have breached the European Union’s regulations regarding sales across borders and online sales.

"Price breakers destroy the economy"

14/06/2017

According to political scientist Jonathan Holslag, consumers have to shop more consciously and stay away from price breakers like Action and Primark because those “destroy the economy”. He feels people should shop at local stores more often.

Are Fnac and Carrefour France's new power couple?

14/06/2017

Are Carrefour and Fnac Darty about to be joined in holy matrimony now that Fnac CEO Alexandre Bompard will lead Carrefour? Can a wandering supermarket chain, a culture-focused company bouncing back and a popular electronics retailer make French retail “great again”?

Back to top