Unilever boosted by strong emerging markets

Double digit growth in emerging markets helped push Unilever's turnover past the 50bn euro mark in 2012.

Double digit growth in emerging markets helped push Unilever's turnover past the 50bn euro mark in 2012.

But it warned the outlook remained tough, with the firm facing high competition and volatile commodity costs.

Turnover increased by 10.5% to €51.3bn, helped by a positive impact from foreign exchange of 2.2% and acquisitions net of disposals of 1.1%.

Underlying sales grew 6.9%, comprising volume growth of 3.4% and price growth of 3.3%.

Emerging markets underlying sales grew 11.4%, reaching 55% of total turnover.

Earnings per share increased by 5.0% to €1.58, while pre-tax profits came in at €6.68m, up 7.0% on the year before.

Higher commodity costs were offset by increased prices, savings and the benefits of its wide range of products.

The firm added that Magnum and Sunsilk had joined its group of €1bn brands, bringing the total to fourteen.

Chief Executive, Paul Polman, said the results had been achieved in tough economic conditions, with volatile commodity costs and in an intensely competitive environment.

"They reflect the progress made in delivering bigger, better innovations and rolling them out faster, improving our execution in the market place and increased discipline driving savings in all areas of the business," he said.

Polson warned he expected markets to remain challenging, with intense competition and volatile commodity costs.

"We remain focused on achieving another year of profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable core operating margin improvement and strong cash flow," he said.

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