European growth still elusive for Unilever

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Unilever has admitted Western Europe remains a challenging market, as the fmcg giant reported a 4.1% rise in global sales over the first half of the year.

While total sales rose to €22.8bn (£19.9bn), turnover in Western Europe grew by a more modest 1.3%. Volumes were up just 0.2% compared to a 2.2% volume increase across the business.

The company said cost inflation had been offset by price hikes and savings, adding that indirect costs had been reduced by more efficient advertising and promotionals.

Over the half-year, the company’s operating profit rose 8% to €3.3bn.

“In a tough and volatile environment we have again delivered strong growth,” said Unilever chief executive Paul Polman. “Volumes were robust and in line with the market, despite having taken price increases.”

He added that the rollout of brands into new territories - including the US debut of Magnum ice cream and greater availability of Dove Men+Care, The Grocer’s personal care launch of the year in 2010 - had been the biggest drivers of growth.

Read more
Unilever still topping rival in spreads (2 July 2011)
Lewis, Havelock win in Unilever shake-up (2 July 2011)
Unilever growth driven by emerging markets (5 February 2011)

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email


Related images

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up


I wish to receive the following newsletters:

For Members

Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a Finance Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a member of The Grocer



CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.


The Grocer's commentators and opinion makers