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Unilever H1 profit up, sales up

Staff Writer |
Unilever reported higher profit in its first half, with increased sales and margin.

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Looking ahead, the company said it is on track for another year of underlying sales growth ahead of markets.

For the first half, profit before tax increased to 4.63 billion euros from 3.64 billion euros in the prior year.

Profit to shareholders' equity was 3.11 billion euros or 1.09 euros per share, compared to 2.51 billion euros or 0.88 euros per share, prior year.

The Group recorded a gain on disposal of 0.3 billion euros for the AdeS soy beverage business in Latin America.

First-half underlying profit attributable to shareholders' equity increased to 3.21 billion euros from 2.81 billion euros, a year ago. Underlying earnings per share was 1.13 euros compared to 0.99 euros.

The improved results reflected underlying sales growth and improved underlying operating margin.

Operating margin in the period grew 310 basis points to 17.5 percent, while underlying margin increased 180 basis points to 17.8 percent.

First-half turnover was 27.72 billion euros, 5.5 percent higher than 26.28 billion euros a year ago. Turnover excluding spreads grew 6 percent to 26.2 billion euros.

The growth in turnover included a positive currency impact of 1.7% and 0.8% from acquisitions net of disposals. Underlying sales growth was 3% during the first half ahead of markets, with price up 3.0% and flat volumes. Underlying sales growth excluding spreads was 3.4 percent.

In the second quarter, turnover grew 5 percent from last year to 14.4 billion euros. Underlying sales growth was 3 percent.

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