Americas profit up at Unilever

by Staff
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ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — For the second quarter of 2007, Unilever’s underlying sales growth increased 6.5% in The Americas. Sales in the Americas during the quarter increased 7% to €3,520 million ($4,815 million), up from €3,478 million during the same period in 2006.

During the first half of the year, volume helped increase underlying sales growth in The Americas to 4.9%, with sales decreasing 2.1% to €6,751 million ($9,235 million) from €6,896 during the same quarter of the previous year.

The U.S. business grew about 3% in the first half, with U.S. ice cream improving. The company said while Ben & Jerry’s is growing, the company is still seeing weakness in Breyer’s.

"In ice cream our sales were down, but we expect the actions that we have taken to lead to an improved performance in the second half year," the company said of business in The Americas.

Company wide, Unilever posted net profit of €1,207 million ($1,650 million) during the quarter, up 16% from €1,044 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

The company also reported a net profit of €2,281 million ($3,120 million) during the first half, which was up 8% compared with €2,103 million during the same period of the previous year.

"Our first-half performance reflects the success of the strategy initiated in 2005 and keeps us on track towards achieving our objectives," said Patrick Cescau, group chief executive. "We set out this year to sustain our growth momentum and deliver an underlying improvement in operation margin. Despite rising commodity costs, we have started to see the benefits of growth coming through in the bottom line."

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