Unilever Posts Stronger 1Q Underlying Sales

By Saabira ChaudhuriFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Unilever PLC reported stronger underlying sales for the first quarter, as it raised prices, while headline results were helped by currency volatility.

The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group, whose brands include Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, reported a 6.1% rise in revenue to EUR13.3 billion euros ($14.3 billion) for the quarter, up from EUR12.5 billion in the comparable period a year earlier.

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Underlying sales--which strip out the impact of foreign exchange volatility--grew by 2.9%, beating analyst estimates for growth of 2%.

Unilever's underlying sales in emerging markets increased by 6.1% in the first quarter, down from the 8.3% growth reported a year earlier. In developed markets, sales declined by 1.5%, a deterioration from the 0.3% fall seen a year earlier.

The results come as rival Nestle SA said its first-quarter revenue grew by 2.3% on an organic basis--which strips out the impact of currency volatility and acquisitions--but was roughly flat from a year earlier as the company struggled with sluggish consumer demand in the Americas.

-Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at saabira.chaudhuri@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 20, 2017 02:40 ET (06:40 GMT)