Unilever shares had increased by 1.49% during early morning trade today (18 October) after market analysts at Goldman Sachs upgraded the consumer goods giant from 'neutral' to 'buy', citing more favourable costs.

"Near-term quarterly results could show signs of improving margins and with oil-related input cost pressures easing, the group stands to reap a better return from its cost-cutting programmes in 2007 and 2008," Goldman Sachs said.

Shares in Unilever had increased by 19 pence to trade at 1,319 pence (US$24.67) at 11 o'clock this morning.