Consumer goods giant Unilever said it had a good start to the year and was on track to hit its full year targets.
The firm, which is behind brands as diverse as TreSemme, PG Tips and Brylcream, saw turnover increase by 11.9% to €12.1bn in the first quarter of the year.
It reported underlying sales growth of 8.4% with emerging markets leading the way, up 11.9%, and now 56% of the company's business.
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Developed markets were up 4.2% and the firm hiked its quarterly dividend 8% to €0.243.
The firm said the figures benefitted from the extra leap year day and an easy prior year comparator in Europe, in part due to Easter falling earlier than in 2011
Chief Executive Paul Polman said Unilever had grown ahead of its markets with all categories delivering growth.
"Emerging markets, now 56% of the business, have again delivered strong growth and whilst the good performance in developed markets was against a weak prior year comparator, our performance is pleasing given struggling economies, continued fragile consumer confidence and competitor activity," he said.
However, Polman sounded a note of caution, saying the external macro-economic environment remained difficult and it was being hit by higher input costs.
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