Unilever Plc, the parent company of Unilever East & West Africa, announced yesterday, its results for the first quarter of 2018, which show good volume-driven performance across all three Divisions.
The Group, however, blamed decrease in its turnover by5.2% to €12.6 billion, on an adverse currency impact of (9.8) % and 1.5% from acquisitions net of disposals.
In a press statement from its London Office, Paul Polman, Global CEO, said that the company recorded “Underlying sales growth excluding spreads 3.7% with volume 3.6% and price 0.1%; emerging markets underlying sales growth 5.1% with volume 4.3% and price 0.8%; Share buy-back programme of up to €6 billion to start in May 2018 and quarterly dividend raised 8% to €0.3872 per share.”
According to him, the first quarter demonstrates another good volume-driven performance across all three Divisions.
“The broad-based growth, including over 4% volume growth in emerging markets, shows that the ‘Connected 4 Growth’ programme is working and enhancing our long-term compounding growth model. We are further improving the quality and speed of our global and local innovation as a result of a more agile, consumer-facing organisation. At the same time, we are maintaining strong delivery from our savings programmes and expecting to complete the exit from spreads in the middle of the year.
“For the full year, we continue to expect underlying sales growth in the 3%–5% range and an improvement in underlying operating margin and cash flow that keep us on track for our 2020 goals. We intend to start a share buy-back programme of up to €6 billion in May to return the expected after-tax proceeds from the spreads disposal. We are raising the dividend by 8%, reflecting confidence in our outlook.”
In the markets in which we operate growth was around 3%, similar to 2017. We did, however, see an improvement in volumes and a lower contribution from price growth, particularly in emerging markets.