By Michael Susin
Unilever PLC said Tuesday that it expects underlying sales growth for the full year to exceed previous guidance, driven by higher prices, although volumes are forecast to be under pressure.
The Anglo-Dutch retailer–which owns consumer brands such as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Dove soap and Cif and Domestos cleaning products–said it currently sees underlying sales growth ahead of the previously guided range of 4.5% to 6.5%.
“The medium-term macroeconomic and cost inflation outlooks are uncertain and volatile, but delivering growth remains our first priority. Against this backdrop, we continue to expect to improve margin in 2023 and 2024, through pricing, mix and savings,” it said.
The company posted underlying sales growth of 8.1% for the first half of the year, with a decrease of 1.6% in volumes and an increase of 9.8% in prices. Analysts’ consensus for underlying sales growth was 7.2%, according to a forecast taken from the company’s website.
For the second quarter, sales growth came in at 8.8%, beating the company’s compiled consensus of 7%.
The company said first-half pretax profit was 4.36 billion euros ($4.46 billion) compared with EUR4.37 billion a year earlier.
Turnover came in at EUR29.6 billion, including EUR15.8 billion in the second quarter. Analysts expected half year and second quarter turnover of EUR29.04 billion and EUR15.26 billion, respectively.
The board declared a quarterly dividend of 42.68 European cents a share, the same amount as for the first half of 2021.
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