THE WHAT? Unilever has beaten Q1 sales forecasts, reporting underlying sales growth of 10.5 percent.
THE DETAILS The personal care giant saw turnover increase 7.0 percent to €14.8 billion, including a currency impact of -0.4 percent and -2.8 percent from disposals net of acquisitions.
Beauty & Wellbeing grew underlying sales by 9.3 percent, driven by price. Volume growth of 2.6 percent was helped by another quarter of double-digit growth in Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing, which now accounts for 5 percent of group turnover.
Personal Care underlying sales were up 12.7 percent, driven by price and 3.0 percent volume growth of which the majority came from strong pipeline refill in deodorants.
Home Care saw 10.2 percent underlying sales growth, with a volume decline of 2.8 percent, which was largely caused by lower volumes in Home & Hygiene and Air Wellness.
Geographically, emerging markets grew underlying sales by 11.7 percent with Latin America increasing 18.7 percent. China returned to positive growth of 1.8 percent, thanks to the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
THE WHY? Unilever benefitted from product price hikes, which offset only a small dip in volumes. However, CEO Alan Jope has denied claims of profiteering off the cost of living crisis.
Jope stated that he was ‘very conscious that the consumer is hurting.’
“I know it’s an inconvenient truth, but we have not been profiteering in any way shape or form.”
“We are certainly asking the shareholder to carry a proportion of the burden,” he added. “None of us want to pass pricing on to the consumer.”