By Joe Hoppe

 

Unilever said Tuesday that its second-quarter sales growth beat expectations, as price increases outweighed a slight decline in volumes, and it raised full-year guidance.

The Anglo-Dutch retailer--which owns consumer brands like Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and Domestos cleaning products--posted underlying sales growth of 7.9% for the second quarter of the year, with a decrease of 0.3% in volumes and an increase of 8.2% in prices. Analysts' consensus for underlying sales growth was 6.4%, according to a forecast from the company.

"As underlying price growth has sequentially moderated from 13.3% in the fourth quarter of 2022, volumes were virtually flat with a step-up in performance in Beauty & Wellbeing and Personal Care offsetting volume declines elsewhere," it said.

For the first half as a whole, sales growth came in at 9.1%, beating the company's compiled consensus of 8.3%.

The company said first-half pretax profit was 5.27 billion euros ($5.83 billion) compared with EUR4.36 billion a year earlier.

Turnover came in at EUR30.43 billion, including EUR15.74 billion in the second quarter. Analysts expected half-year and second-quarter turnover of EUR30.34 billion and EUR15.59 billion, respectively.

The company raised its guidance for full-year underlying sales growth for 2023 to be above 5%. It had previously guided at the upper end of 3%-5%.

The board declared a quarterly dividend of 42.68 European cents a share, flat on the first half of 2022.

 

Write to Joe Hoppe at joseph.hoppe@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 25, 2023 02:41 ET (06:41 GMT)

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