Business


Unilever sales growth beats estimates



London: Unilever, the maker of Magnum ice cream and TRESemme shampoo, reported fourth-quarter sales growth that beat estimates, led by a rebound in emerging markets.

Revenue excluding acquisitions and currency fluctuations rose 4.1 per cent in the three months through December, the London-and Rotterdam-based company said yesterday in a statement.

The median estimate of 14 analysts surveyed was for growth of 3.9 per cent. The quantity of goods sold gained 2.7 per cent, more than the 2.5 per cent estimated by analysts.

The quarter benefited from an improved performance in emerging markets, where growth had been slipping. Sales in those regions rose 8.4 per cent, better than the third-quarter's 5.9 per cent gain.

Unilever generates 57 per cent of its revenue from countries such as India and China and said on September 30 that slowing growth in those regions would weigh on second-half sales.

"Given the considerable anxiety ahead of this release, we'd expectation a positive reaction today," Jeff Stent, an analyst at BNP Paribas, said in a note.

Results in emerging markets were "pleasing," despite decelerating economic growth and depreciating currencies, chief financial officer Jean-Marc Huet said by phone.

Indonesia, Brazil and Indiacombined make up 18 per cent of Unilever's sales.

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