Unilever's first half is strong for prestige beauty
Unilever’s first-half report on Tuesday showed rising sales, with inflation a big factor in that as the company was largely able to pass on price rises to consumers.
Underlying sales growth in the first half was 8.1% with 9.8% coming from price rises and only a 1.6% volume sales deficit. Growth was broad-based across all divisions.
The company said that “price has sequentially stepped up over the past two quarters, reaching 11.2% in the second quarter, which had, as expected, some negative impact on volume”.
Higher prices were more noticeable in some areas than others, but price rises were seen across the board.
In the Beauty & Personal Care division, sales grew 7.5% to €12.2 billion, driven by those higher prices, but also by continued strong growth in Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing (which is Unilever's vitamins, minerals and supplements business).
Of that 7,5% rise, 9% came from raised prices, while it saw a volume deficit of 1.3%. It said that “strong price increases landed across most categories, and were particularly pronounced in Latin America, South Asia and Turkey”.
As for the individual units within Beauty & Personal Care, Prestige Beauty continued its double-digit growth momentum with Tatcha “successfully” launching in the UK and expanding in premium channels in China.
Skincare grew in low single-digits on the back of a tough prior year comparison, with strong growth of Pond's in India partially offset by a decline in China.
Skin Cleansing returned to growth, with Dove seeing higher prices but flat volumes. Dove was also supported by the launch of premium innovations in North America. Overall Skin Cleansing volumes declined in the mid single-digits, particularly affected by the pricing issue in Europe and South Asia.
Haircare grew in mid single-digits, boosted by India and North America, but partially offset by declines in North Asia and Europe.
And the Deodorants unit delivered double-digit growth, helped by continued premiumisation and “strong innovations”, such as the 72-hour protection technology launched for Rexona.
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