Unilever today reported stronger than expected third-quarter results, with sales up more than 5% to €12.1bn (£10.4bn).

Underlying sales in Western Europe dipped by 0.5%, with volumes down almost 3%. But the Pot Noodle maker said its performance in terms of market share was robust, despite the parlous state of many European economies.

Volumes of ice cream, a category in which Unilever owns the Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s brands, were hit by unfavourable weather early in the quarter.

Total European sales were up due to the acquisition of Sara Lee’s personal care business, while emerging markets drove much of the company’s organic growth.

“I’m pleased to report another good quarterly performance, with particularly strong growth in personal care and the emerging markets,” said chief executive Paul Polman.

“This reinforces our position as the emerging markets consumer goods company.”