Unilever profit drops 19% in quarter

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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LONDON — Restructuring charges and a low tax rate last year resulted in lower net profit during the second quarter for Unilever Group.

The company posted net profit of €978 million ($1,522 million), down 19% from €1,207 million in the same quarter of 2007. Net sales were €10,374 million ($16,137 million), down slightly from €10,526 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

"Our performance in the first half year has been good in what has been a challenging environment," said Patrick Cescau, group chief executive. "We have delivered 7% underlying sales growth and underlying improvement in profitability while maintaining competitiveness. The changes already implemented in the business have made us nimbler and better able to respond to market conditions. We are doing so against our clear priorities of maintaining competitiveness, improving margins and investing selectively to gain market share."

For the six months, the company posted net profit of €2,385 million ($3,710 million), up 5% from €2,281,000 during the same period of the previous year. Sales were €19,945 million ($31,015 million), down 1% from €20,054 million during the same period of the previous year.

"Looking to the future, our strategy leverages our strong brands, broad geographic footprint and products that meet everyday needs across a wide range of price points," Mr. Cescau said. "Our innovation program focuses on opportunities in health and wellness, the use of superior technology and rapid deployment into new markets. This continues to be the best route to long-term value creation."

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