Ice cream, beverage sales boost Unilever

by Eric Schroeder
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LONDON — Underlying sales growth of 4% in ice cream and beverages helped to lift Unilever P.L.C. to companywide underlying sales growth of 3.4% in the fiscal year’s third quarter. Underlying sales fell 0.1% in savory, dressings and spreads.

Total third-quarter sales of €2,182 million ($3,246 million) within ice cream and beverages marked a 0.7% increase from €2,166 million ($3,222 million) in the previous year’s third quarter. Third-quarter operating profit of €317 million ($472 million) within ice cream and beverages was down from €363 million ($540 million) last year. The launch of a range of super premium Starbucks ice cream products is on track in the United States, according to Unilever.

Companywide, London-based Unilever posted third-quarter sales of €10,201 million, down 2.2% from €10,427 million in the previous year’s third quarter. Third-quarter operating profit of €1,494 million was down from €2,525 million.

Within savory, dressings and spreads, third-quarter total sales fell 7.8% to €3,239 million from €3,513 million, and third-quarter operating profit fell to €519 million from €745 million.

The Americas region of Unilever for the third quarter had underlying sales growth of 3.9% and total sales of €3,218 million.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, Unilever posted underlying sales growth of 4.1% and total sales of €30,164 million, down 0.7% from €30,372 million in the same time period of the previous year.

“Market conditions remain challenging, and in this environment we will continue to increase investment behind our brands and build long-term capabilities in research and development,” said Paul Polman, chief executive officer. “We are on track towards our objective of restoring volume growth while protecting margins and cash flow for the year as a whole.”

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