Unilever (LON:ULVR) revealed a stronger-than-expected growth in its underlying sales for its first-quarter.
Owner of iconic brands such as Dove, Marmite, PG Tips, Ben and Jerry’s, Magnum and Pot noodles, Unilever said that its underlying sales grew 3.1%, with 1.2% from volume and 1.9% from price.
Analysts were roughly expecting a 2.8% underlying sales increase, according to Reuters.
Unilever, whose underlying sales in emerging markets increased by 5%, is headquartered in London and Rotterdam.
“We have delivered a solid start that keeps us on track for our full year expectations. Growth was led by emerging markets and was balanced between volume and price,” said CEO of Unilever, Alan Jope.
Underlying sales in Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care division increased by 3.1%. Skin care and deodorants saw a strong start to the year, with hair and skin cleansing growing only modestly. The company said that its sales in oral care saw a decline as a result of challenging market conditions.
The group’s Home Care division saw its underlying sales grow 6%. This was driven by its fabric solutions and home and hygiene, though its life essentials category was flat.
As for its Food & Refreshment division, underlying sales grew 1.5%. Ice cream started the year strong, but sales in tea and savoury were flat. Dressings declined, impacted by continued high promotional intensity and the later timing of Easter.
Unilever recently announced the launch of a new vegan Magnum ice-cream bar in a bid to cater for consumers pursuing a vegan lifestyle. But, Australian dairy farmers labelled the ice-cream bar “a problem for the dairy industry”.
Earlier this year, Unilever made headlines for reportedly stockpiling its ice cream brands ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union.
“Accelerating growth is our number one priority. It requires both great execution and a continued strategic shift into faster growth segments and channels. We saw good performance in key growth channels including out-of-home and e-commerce and benefited from stronger global innovations and faster and more relevant local innovation,” Unilever’s CEO continued.
The company now expects full year underlying sales growth to be in the lower half of a 3-5% range.
Its full-year 2018 financial results continued to see profitable growth despite “volatile” market conditions.
At 08:57 GMT Thursday, shares in Unilever plc (LON:ULVR) were trading at +2.6%.