Unilever sales hit by slow ice cream season

Suzie Neuwirth

CONSUMER goods giant Unilever’s sales growth for the quarter fell short of analysts’ expectations at 4.9 per cent, due to sluggish sales of ice cream and spreads.

Forecasts hovered around the 5.5 per cent mark for the period.

However, while Europe remains challenging, sales growth in emerging markets rose 10.4 per cent during the quarter.

“Emerging markets delivered double digit growth for the eighth successive quarter and represented over 57 per cent of our turnover,” said chief executive Paul Polman.

“Developed markets growth remained sluggish. Europe faced a particularly strong prior year comparator and whilst the overall performance was solid, the reported growth was held back by the slow start to the ice cream season and weakness in spreads.”