Amid its well-publicised dispute with Tesco, Unilever has reported weaker third quarter results, impacted by strong comparatives with last year and a deterioration of trading conditions in a number of countries.
Underlying sales grew 3.2% with price up 3.6% and volume down 0.4% against a strong quarter last year. On a constant exchange rate, sales were up by 3.4%, although unfavourable currency movements pushed its turnover down 0.1%.
The group said trading conditions in its European market “remained challenging” as grocery prices continued to fall. Sales in Europe fell 1.1% on an underlying basis, compared to a 5.8% rise in the Americas, and 3.9% increase in its Asia/AMET/RUB division.
Paul Polman, Unilever’s Chief Executive said the business “continues to demonstrate its resilience by growing competitively and consistently in tough market conditions.”
He added: “With markets remaining soft and volatile, we have continued to transform our business at an accelerated pace. We are progressing well with the fast implementation of our change programmes: net revenue management, zero-based budgeting and ‘Connected 4 Growth’, making our organisation more agile and responsive to market needs.”