Hellmanns Real Mayonnaise

Source: Unilever

Hellmann’s owner Unilever has insisted it is not profiteering from inflation

Sainsbury’s and the Hellmann’s maker Unilever have both insisted they are protecting shoppers from inflation, amid accusations that some companies are profiteering from the cost of living crisis (The Guardian).

Unilever’s chief executive has dismissed the notion that the consumer goods company is exploiting higher input costs to raise prices and fatten profits, saying it was not “profiteering in any way, shape or form” from inflation (Financial Times £).

Alan Jope reiterated that the company, which makes Magnum ice cream and Marmite, had “only passed on 75% of the cost increases to customers. We have asked some of our shareholders to take on some of the pain by dropping margins. We’re very, very conscious the consumer is hurting and that’s why we’re not passing through [all] costs.” (The Times £)

In his last update as chief executive of the consumer goods giant, Jope said he was ‘very conscious that the consumer is hurting’ (Mail).

The Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum ice cream brands owner revealed underlying sales increased by 10.5% in the opening three months of the year, compared to analysts’ expectations of 7.2% (Mail).

The Telegraph has a pop at Unilever in a business editorial, arguing the “ethical champion” must accept its share of blame for price rises. “Marmite maker denies profiteering – but passing on higher costs is still a bad look,” the paper writes.

Britain’s second largest supermarket has reported a fall in annual pre-tax profits as it revealed that it had spent more than £560m on keeping its prices low over the past two years (The Times £).

The group told investors on Thursday its underlying pre-tax profit for the year came in at £690m, down 5% from £730m in the previous 12 months ( Mail).

The boss of Britain’s second-largest supermarket chain expressed optimism yesterday that inflation had peaked in some food categories after soaring costs cut into its full-year profits (The Times £).

An opinion column in The Guardian shouts that “Britain once rioted over the price of bread” and asks “what would it take for us to confront greedflation today?”. “We seem to wearily accept corporate profiteering as a fact of life. But an ever poorer public can be pushed only so far.”

The government must do more to revitalise British high streets and restore a “lost sense” of community for shoppers, the boss of Primark has said (The Times £).

The UK government’s pledges on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming and land use fall short of promises made in its net zero strategy, analysis has found (The Guardian).

A vegan energy bar company and an alcoholic tea maker are among a raft of businesses backed by Rishi Sunak’s Future Fund that have gone bust. Quarterly data released by the British Business Bank show the fund has lost all its money on investments including: Human Food, a vegan energy bar company which borrowed £261,288; and Noveltea, which sold teas infused with gin, whisky and rum. (Telegraph).

The chancellor is facing renewed pressure from the retail industry to reintroduce tax-free shopping for tourists (The Times £).

Business confidence reached its highest level since May last year as bosses become more optimistic about the wider economy, a monthly sentiment index by Lloyds Bank showed (The Times £).

Amazon said growth had slowed this month in its Amazon Web Services cloud division, raising investor fears about a main driver of the tech giant’s profits as customers look to cut costs in response to challenging economic conditions (Financial Times £).

Amazon beat expectations for the latest quarter and forecast robust growth in the next, but uncertainty surrounding its cloud computing business rattled investors (The Times £).

The world’s biggest online retailer posted sales of £102bn for the first three months of the year, 9 per cent higher than in 2022 and above the £100bn predicted by analysts (Mail)