Poor weather hits Unilever’s ice-cream sales

Poor weather hits Unilever’s ice-cream sales

Unilever growth slows in India and China

Consumer goods giant Unilever (LON:ULVR) posted its half-year results on Thursday, revealing that poor weather had hit its ice cream sales in Europe and North America.

Shares in Unilever were trading over 1% lower on Thursday morning.

Underlying sales were up 3.3% for the first half of 2019, led by its emerging market business which grew 6.2%.

Unilever added that growth in its markets was mixed, however. Market growth in Europe and North America was held back by the impact of the weather on ice cream sales.

In the emerging markets it continued to see good momentum, particularly in China and South East Asia.

India saw a strong market growth, though it moderated, which Unilever said was expected. Argentina remains hyperinflationary and high levels of pricing continue to weigh on consumer demand, Unilever added.

“We have delivered consistent growth within our guided range for 2019, led by our emerging markets,”  CEO Alan Jope said in a company statement.

“Accelerating growth remains our top priority and we continue to evolve our portfolio and seek out fast growth channel and geographical opportunities, as well as address those performance hotspots where growth is falling short of our aspirations,” Alan Jope continued.

“For the full year, we continue to expect underlying sales growth to be in the lower half of our multi-year 3-5% range, an improvement in underlying operating margin that keeps us on track for the 2020 target and another year of strong free cash flow. Our sustainable business model and portfolio of purpose-led brands are key to delivering superior long-term financial performance.”

Earlier this year in April, Unilever revealed a stronger-than-expected growth in its underlying sales for its first-quarter of 2019.

In its full-year 2018 results, the consumer goods giant said it had seen continued profitable growth despite the “volatile” market conditions.

Shares in Unilever plc (LON:ULVR) were trading at -1.23% as of 09:46 BST Thursday.