LONDON: Anglo-Dutch food and household goods giant Unilever posted a 64% fall in fourth quarter profits to €721 million ($1.05bn; £539m), but a 1.7% rise in sales to €9.89 billion, compared with the year-ago period.

The drop in profits resulted from the sale of some operations in the same quarter last year, which included a €1.2bn gain on selling its frozen foods division in Europe.

The company, whose brands include Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice-cream, says: "In the US overall consumer demand has held up well in our categories."

Unilever adds: "We have seen improving trends almost everywhere. All major countries grew in the year, including the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. In France sales were slightly up in a challenging market." 

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