Anglo-Dutch consumer products titan Unilever yesterday gave its shareholders an early Christmas present with news that this year’s earnings growth (excluding acquisitions, disposals and exceptional items) would be at the top end of the 8%–10% predicted by analysts.

The group added that its leading brands would probably accelerate in growth between Q3 and Q4.

Unilever also warned that sales would drop by $89 million in the final three months of 2000, mainly due to lower prices. However, Q4 sales (excluding newly acquired companies) should be up around 2% on last year.

News source: Financial Times