Full-year profit rises 5 percent for consumer goods giant Unilever despite sales fall

MarketsAssociated Press

Consumer goods giant Unilever, maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, says its net profit for 2014 rose 5 percent from the year earlier to 5.5 billion euros ($6.4 billion) despite tough conditions in its markets.

The company announced Tuesday thatsales slid 2.7 percent to 48.4 billion euros ($56 billion), but said underlying sales, which strip out currency fluctuations and new businesses, rose 2.9 percent for the year.

Continue Reading Below

Chief Executive Paul Polman says, "Despite a challenging year for our industry with significant economic headwinds and weak markets we have delivered another year of competitive underlying sales growth and margin expansion."

Polman says the company does not expect a significant pickup in its markets in 2015 and predicts a similar performance to 2014.