Unilever has hailed fiscal 2018 as ‘a solid year’ with continued profitable growth in volatile markets. The Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant reported underlying sales growth of 2.9 percent (3.1 percent excluding spreads) with 2.1 percent volume and 1 percent growth in value terms.
The Beauty & Personal Care division saw sales rise 3 percent to €5.4 billion while Home Care put on 5.3 percent to €2.6 billion.
“2018 was a solid year for Unilever, with good volume growth and high-quality margin progression,” said Alan Jope, CEO. “Looking forward, accelerating growth will be our number one priority. With so many of our brands enjoying leadership positions, we have significant opportunities to develop our markets, as well as to benefit from our deep global reach and purpose-led brands.
“We will capitalise on our strengthened organisation and portfolio, and our digital transformation programme, to bring higher levels of speed and agility. Strong delivery from our savings programmes will improve productivity and fund our growth ambitions.
“In 2019 we expect market conditions to remain challenging. We anticipate underlying sales growth will be in the lower half of our multi-year 3–5 percent range, with continued improvement in underlying operating margin and another year of strong free cash flow. We remain on track for our 2020 goals.”