Unilever has announced its results for the first half of fiscal 2019. The Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant saw underlying sales growth of 3.3 percent over the first six months of the financial year, which it attributed to a strong performance from emerging markets, where sales grew 6.2 percent.
Turnover was down 0.9 percent thanks to the sale of the group’s spreads business but operating margin grew 50bps, with 30 bps from gross margin.
The Beauty and Personal Care segment put on a modest 3.3 percent, with deodorants performing well, a ‘good performance’ for skin care and impressive double-digit leap from the prestige camp, although hair care had a ‘challenging’ second quarter.
“We have delivered consistent growth within our guided range for 2019, led by our emerging markets,” said CEO Alan Jope. “Accelerating growth remains our top priority and we continue to evolve our portfolio and seek out fast growth channel and geographical opportunities, as well as address those performance hotspots where growth is falling short of our aspirations.
“For the full year, we continue to expect underlying sales growth to be in the lower half of our multi-year 3-5% range, an improvement in underlying operating margin that keeps us on track for the 2020 target and another year of strong free cash flow. Our sustainable business model and portfolio of purpose-led brands are key to delivering superior long-term financial performance.”