UK/NETHERLANDS: Unilever results boost shares
Shares in Unilever rose in early trading this morning (2 August) after the consumer goods giant's second-quarter results cheered the market.
Unilever, which makes brands including Knorr soups and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, posted a 5.8% rise in underlying revenues to EUR10.5bn (US$14.3bn). Underlying operating profit for the quarter rose 3% to EUR1.4bn.
The second-quarter figures boosted Unilever's numbers for the first half of the year. Turnover for the six-month period was also up 5.8%, reaching EUR20.1bn. First-half operating profit remained flat at EUR2.7bn.
Unilever shares had risen by 7.5% by 08:00 this morning as analysts saw the company's second-quarter results as a positive sign. "There is now real evidence of sustained improvement in the group," Panmure analyst Graham Jones wrote in a note to clients.
Unilever warned that commodity costs would continue to rise during the second half thanks to soaring prices for edible oils and dairy products. However, the company said the rise in costs would be more than offset by price rises and cost cuts.
The company is looking to would ramp up its innovation programme and raise EUR2bn through disposals of slower growing businesses.
Chief executive Patrick Cescau, however, declined to name which business would be offloaded, outside the company's plans to sell its North American laundry business.
First-half sales in Europe rose 2.6% thanks to "strong contributions" from markets including the Netherlands, Italy and Russia. Sales in the UK were in line with last year due to lower ice cream sales.
First-half sales in the Americas were up almost 5%, driven by rising revenue in the US.
In Unilever's "Asia Africa" business, sales leapt by 11.3% thanks to "broad-based" growth, the company said.
Unilever marketing executive Cees 't Hart has been lined up to run Friesland Foods and Campina when the two Dutch dairy giants merge later this year....
Seasonings giant McCormick & Co. has booked a leap in full-year profits thanks to rising sales worldwide and cost savings from its ongoing restructuring programme....
Unilever has decided to shake up its US management structure in a bid to drive efficiency and to get closer to its customers....
Unilever is launching a campaign for its brand I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! in the US....
Rising food prices will rumble on for up to three more years, according to the chief executive of PepsiCo....
Unilever UK is to put GBP15m (US$29m) behind a relaunch campaign for Flora Pro-activ....
The last five days have seen the owners of UK retailer Somerfield look for a buyer, Kellogg invest in Russia - and a police hostage raid at a Unilever plant. Here's this week's most popular stories on...
Unilever will press ahead with plans to restructure its ice cream business in France, despite workers holding a company director hostage at one of the company's plants....
- US food next wave on display at Winter Fancy Food
- Does Kraft Heinz want to swallow Unilever whole?
- How General Mills plans to grow - CAGNY
- Comment: Meal kits in US - don't believe the hype
- Focus: Nestle CEO plan to balance sales, earnings
- Unilever launches operational review
- Kraft Heinz pulls Unilever bid
- Kerry operating earnings strengthen on slow sales
- Glanbia focuses on nutrition with Irish dairy spin
- Kerry's Scanlon to replace McCarthy as CEO