Chloe Shakesby

Unilever sales return to growth as demand bubbles for cleaning products

An international consumer goods company has seen its sales make a stronger than expected return to growth in the third quarter of the year.

Unilever, which produces food, home care and health and beauty brands, has reported that its underlying sales for the period rose by 4.4 per cent, following predictions of a 1.3 per cent increase.

Home care brands including Domestos and Comfort led the way with a 6.7 per cent increase, driven by the spread of Covid-19 and the rise in average time spent at home among consumers.

Health and beauty and food products respectively saw 3.8 per cent and 3.7 per cent rises, with retail foods such as Hellmans and Ben & Jerry’s driving the figures.

The company, which announced earlier this year that its two branches are unifying, also saw ecommerce figures grow by 76 per cent in the last three months.

Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, commented: “We have delivered a strong performance this quarter. Volume-led growth shows the resilience of our portfolio and our agility in responding to rapidly changing dynamics across consumer segments, geographies and channels.

“We continue to progress our strategic change agenda.

“Our proposals to simplify Unilever’s dual-headed legal structure have received strong support from both NV and PLC shareholders, and we have set out our Clean Future strategy in Home Care, to eliminate fossil fuel derived carbon from our cleaning products by 2030.

“The environment we are operating in will remain unpredictable in the near term, so we will continue to maintain the speed and agility of our response. Our focus remains volume-led competitive growth, delivering absolute profit and free cash flow.”

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