Unilever Third Quarter Earnings Up 63%

03 November 2008

LONDON: Food and domestic products titan Unilever posted a 63% year-on-year increase in Q3 earnings, as profits rose to €1.64 billion ($2.1bn; £1.3bn) from the €1.01bn recorded in the year-ago period. 

The company's total sales rose by 1.8% despite an overall increase in prices, and the quarterly increase would have equated to 7% had currency exchange rates been more stable. 

Its balance sheet also benefited from the sale of seasoning brand Lawry to spice company McCormick & Co for €487 million, as part of Unilever's broader initiative to focus on its best-performing products.

Job cuts also form part of the Anglo-Dutch giant's restructuring plans, which it estimates will save some €1bn in 2008 across the boad, while sales are also expected to grow by 3–5% for the year as a whole. 

Unilever warns that some sectors, such as shampoo, as likely to come under pressure from less-expensive rivals, but says its food products are performing well, particularly in rapidly-developing markets like Russia.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff