Unilever H1 Pre-tax Profit Edges Down, Turnover Climbs; Raises FY22 Sales Growth View

Consumer goods major Unilever PLC (UN,ULVR.L,UL) reported Tuesday that its first-half profit before taxation edged down 0.2 percent to 4.359 billion euros from last year's 4.369 billion euros.

Net profit attributable to shareholders' equity fell 7 percent to 2.91 billion euros from 3.12 billion euros a year ago. Earnings per share were 1.13 euros, down 4.7 percent from 1.19 euros in the prior year.

Underlying earnings per share were 1.34 euros, compared to 1.33 euros a year ago.

Operating profit grew 1.7 percent from last year to 4.5 billion euros. Operating margin was 15.2 percent, down 200 basis points. Underlying operating margin of 17.0 percent, a decrease of 180 basis points driven by input cost inflation.

Turnover climbed 15 percent to 29.62 billion euros from prior year's 25.79 billion euros. Underlying sales growth was 8.1 percent, with 9.8 percent price, partly offset by 1.6 percent drop in volume.

In the second quarter, turnover was 15.8 billion euros, up 17.5 percent on a reported basis, and 8.8 percent on underlying basis.

The Board has declared a quarterly interim dividend for the second quarter of 0.3633 pounds per Unilever PLC ordinary share or 0.4268 euro per Unilever PLC ordinary share.

Looking ahead, the company raised sales guidance for the year 2022. The company now expects underlying sales growth to be above the previous range of 4.5 percent to 6.5 percent, driven by price with some further pressure on volume.

The company previously expected underlying sales growth in 2022 to be at the top end of the 4.5 percent to 6.5 percent range.

The full-year underlying operating margin expectation remains at 16 percent, which is within the company's guided range of 16 percent to 17 percent.

Going further ahead, the company continues to expect to improve margin in 2023 and 2024, through pricing, mix and savings.

Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, said, "The challenges of inflation persist and the global macroeconomic outlook is uncertain, but we remain intensely focused on operational excellence and delivery in 2022 and beyond."

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