Unilever has posted underlying sales growth of 10.6% for its third quarter, driven by price hikes which had “only a limited impact on volume”.
Price growth reached 12.5% in the quarter, with volumes declining 1.6%.
The owner of Ben & Jerry’s reported turnover of €15.8 billion in Q3 and €45.6 billion for the first nine months.
The company said its expectation for net material inflation is “virtually unchanged” at around €4.5 billion, with €2.5 billion in the second half.
Unilever stated that although some commodities have softened from their peaks, it expects cost pressure to continue into 2023, “driven by currency devaluation, higher raw material costs versus beneficial covers in the first half of 2022, and higher supplier processing costs from energy and labour inflation”.
The company’s nutrition business grew its underlying sales 11.8% to €3.3 billion, while Unilever’s ice cream sales rose 13.2% to €2.4 billion, led by double-digit price growth in both in-home and out-of-home.
Unilever CEO, Alan Jope, said: “Unilever has delivered another quarter of growth in challenging macroeconomic conditions. Underlying sales growth improved to 10.6%, led by further increases in pricing with only a limited impact on volume, and we now expect underlying sales growth for the full year 2022 to be above 8%.”
He continued: “We have delivered growth in each of our five business groups, led by a strong performance from our billion+ euro brands, growing 14% in the quarter. Strong pricing allows us to continue to drive increased investment behind our brands. Our organisation is now better structured to deliver consistent growth through a simpler, more category-focused operating model. The full benefits will be realised over time, and we are seeing encouraging early signs of improved accountability and faster decision-making.”
“The global macroeconomic outlook remains mixed, and we expect the challenges of high inflation to persist in 2023. The delivery of consistent growth remains our first priority.”
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