Unilever has reported 9% underlying sales growth for 2022, as the company hiked prices in response to soaring raw material costs.
Underlying price growth was 11.3%, while underlying volumes fell 2.1%.
The owner of Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite and Hellmann’s said that it expects cost inflation to continue in 2023, with forecast net material inflation in the first half of around €1.5 billion.
In Q4, Unilever’s turnover stood at €14.6 billion, up 11.4% compared with 2021. The company reported a turnover of €60.1 billion for the full 12 months, a significant increase of 14.5% from the previous year.
Last month, the consumer goods giant announced FrieslandCampina’s Hein Schumacher as its incoming CEO. The appointment followed Alan Jope’s decision to retire last September, less than a year after a failed attempt by Unilever to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare business and just months after activist investor Nelson Peltz joined the company’s board.
Commenting on the company’s latest results, Jope said: “We continue to improve our growth profile, with the sale of the global tea business and the acquisition of Nutrafol. We are increasingly realising the benefits from the reshaped portfolio, accelerated savings delivery and improved execution.”
He continued: “There is more to do, but the changes we have made mean that we start 2023 with momentum, setting us up well for delivering another year of higher growth, which remains our first priority”.
Unilever says that underlying price growth will remain high in the first half of 2023 and volumes will decline. The company added that “volume will improve as price growth softens, but it is too early to say whether volume will turn positive in the second half”.
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