Anglo-Dutch consumer products maker Unilever (UN,UL, ULVR.L) on Thursday reported that its first-quarter turnover increased 11.9 percent from last year with growth in all categories and regions, despite sluggish economies, weak consumer confidence in many markets and sustained levels of competitive intensity.
Turnover grew to 12.14 billion euros from last year's 10.86 billion euros. The company noted that acquisitions net of disposals contributed 2.7 percent to turnover.
Underlying sales growth, excluding acquisitions, was 8.4 percent as all categories contributing to growth, with emerging markets, now 56 percent of the business, up 11.9 percent and developed markets up 4.2 percent.
Underlying volume growth was 3.5 percent and pricing grew 4.7 percent
In the quarter, personal care revenues climbed 20.9 percent, and foods revenues grew 5.5 percent. The growth was 9.2 percent in home care and 9.3 percent in refreshment segments. All three regions also posted higher revenues in the quarter.
The Boards have declared a quarterly interim dividend of 0.243 euros per share for the quarter, up 8 percent from last year.
Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman said, "The external macro-economic environment remains difficult and higher input cost headwinds persist. Our long term priorities remain unchanged - profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable core operating margin improvement and strong cash flow."
"For 2012, we remain on track to deliver a modest improvement in full year core operating margin, weighted towards the second half of the year," he added.
by RTT Staff Writer
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