The multinational consumer goods maker Unilever has reported that the global markets are still weighing down its performance, and that there is no let up in sight.
Speaking of the worrying economic situation, Graeme Pikethly, Chief Financial Officer, said, “In fact, in a number of countries, the economic environment is getting worse, with the situation on the ground dominated by the effects of currency depreciation.”
Unilever suggested that, as a whole, it had seen no improvement in its markets; a worrying sign given that the company generates much of its revenue from emerging markets. However, in spite of this there were factors that helped the company to slightly brighten its sales outlook, with underlying sales having risen 5.7 per cent in the third quarter due to some one-off benefits. These included soft comparisons in China, a shift in the timings of sales in Latin America and strong ice cream sales.
However, the company expects sales to come in towards the higher end of 2 to 4 per cent for the rest of the year, once the one-off factors calm down. Jefferies analysts said, “The implication from guidance is that the fourth quarter will be off the steroids.”