Unilever profit up 26% in year

by Staff
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ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — Unilver posted a net profit of €4,598 million ($6,273 million) in fiscal 2010, up 26% from €3,659 million during the previous year. Sales for the year were €44,262 million ($60,388 million), up 11% from €39,823 million during fiscal 2009.

“We are pleased with another year of good results in which we delivered against all our key priorities and further progressed the transformation of Unilever,” said Paul Polman, chief executive officer. “We delivered strong volume growth, particularly in emerging markets, which continued to be the engine of growth. We gained volume share in all regions driven by stronger innovations, significant increases in marketing investment and the extension of our brands into new territories. At the same time we delivered margin improvement through a strong savings program, lower indirects and volume efficiencies. This, coupled with excellent working capital management, enabled us to deliver robust cash flow.

“The Unilever of today is more agile and confident, now fully fit to compete. We remain focused on serving our consumers and customers and building the long-term health of our brands. Despite the intense competition and the return of commodity cost volatility, our objectives remain — profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable underlying operating margin improvement and strong cash flow.”

For the fourth quarter the company had a net profit of €1,042 million ($1,421 million), up 15% from €906 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were €10,819 million ($14,758 million), up 12% from €9,659 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

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