Unilever appears to have performed better in 2002 than previously thought, after the consumer goods colossus unexpectedly increased full-year revenue forecasts.

Underlying sales are now thought to have jumped 5.4% in the full year to 31 December, boosted by investment in the fmcg giant’s core brands, promotions and product innovations, mostly in the second half. Such growth is higher than the 4.5% to 5% predicted only last month.

Monday’s surprise recalculation follows references to improved sales growth made on Friday by co-ceo Antony Burgmans. However, his comments did not make it clear whether this upturn was for the full year or the fourth quarter, prompting the fmcg giant to clarify the situation yesterday.

“We considered our position over the weekend and have issued the statement to remove any uncertainty after some volatility in the shares,” it said.

Preliminary 2002 results will be published on February 13.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff