Oct 19, 2017
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Unilever blames poor weather for slowing growth

Oct 19, 2017

Unilever reported lower-than-expected third-quarter sales, blaming recent storms in the United States and poor weather for weak ice cream sales in Europe.


Underlying sales rose 2.6 percent, Unilever said on Thursday. That was below the 3.9 percent growth expected by analysts in a company-supplied consensus, and below the 3 percent seen in the first half of the year.

“While natural disasters doubtless played a part, the fact is that Unilever’s Q3 performance came in below expectations in all geographies,” said RBC Capital Markets analysts. “Sales growth in personal care, at 1.8 percent, was particularly disappointing relative to consensus.”

The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which in February rebuffed a $143 billion takeover bid from Kraft-Heinz, said turnover fell by 1.6 percent, hurt by a 5.1 percent hit from foreign exchange rates.

Excluding its up-for-sale margarine and spreads business, for which tentative takeover bids are due on Thursday, sales rose 2.8 percent.

Higher prices contributed 2.4 percentage points of the 2.6 percent sales growth, while increased volume accounted for the other 0.2 percent.

The company stood by its full-year forecast for sales growth of 3 to 5 percent.

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