Unilever 3Q Comparable Sales Rise 2.6%, Below Expectations

By Adria Calatayud Features Dow Jones Newswires

Consumer goods giant Unilever PLC (ULVR.LN) reported Thursday a 2.6% rise in comparable sales for the third quarter of 2017, below market expectations, as the company said its full-year and strategic targets are on track.

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The owner of brands including Dove, Hellmann's and Lipton said its third-quarter turnover was 13.2 billion euros ($15.5 billion). Profit figures for the period weren't disclosed.

Unilever's sales on an underlying basis--stripping out the impact of acquisitions, disposals and exchange-rate changes--slowed from its second-quarter growth of 3%. The company said the sales rise was driven by emerging markets growth of 6.3%, in contrast with a 2.3% decrease in developed markets. Volumes grew 0.2% and prices were up 2.4%.

Unilever said overall market conditions remain challenging and, despite seeing signs of improvement in emerging markets including China and India, disruption from natural disasters in the Americas and poorer weather in Europe adversely affected the third quarter.

The Anglo-Dutch company also backed its full-year guidance of 3%-5% underlying sales growth and underlying margin improvement of at least 100 basic points.

The consumer products group added that it is making good progress towards its strategic targets. Plans for the integration of foods and refreshments into a single business are advancing well, and preparations for an exit from the spreads business via a sale or demerger is fully on track, Unilever said. In April, Unilever launched a broad restructuring which included the divestment of its margarine and spreads unit, in the wake of a $143 billion takeover approach by Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) earlier in the year.

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Write to Adria Calatayud at adria.calatayudvaello@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 19, 2017 03:38 ET (07:38 GMT)