SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

News Feed Item

Unilever Trading Statement First Quarter 2014

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM and ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS -- (Marketwired) -- 04/24/14 -- Unilever (NYSE: UL) (NYSE: UN) (LSE: ULVR)

GOOD START TO 2014

First quarter highlights

  • Underlying sales growth 3.6% with emerging markets up 6.6%
  • Underlying volume growth 1.9% and pricing up 1.6%
  • Turnover decreased 6.3% to EUR11.4 billion reflecting a negative currency impact of (8.9)%
  • Quarterly dividend up 6% to EUR0.285

Paul Polman: Chief Executive Officer statement

"We delivered good growth in the first quarter despite slowing markets and a tough competitive environment, further evidence that Unilever is now delivering consistently ahead of our markets. We saw a continuation of the competitive performances in Home Care and Personal Care and a strong start to the year in Refreshment. The decline in Foods was largely explained by the later timing of Easter and I am confident that we are now taking the right actions to improve performance. We are now gaining market share in margarines in Europe and North America in response to our investment in communicating the improved taste and naturalness of our brands.

We continue to deliver strong, margin-accretive innovations whilst embedding operational discipline across our markets. At the same time we are increasing our distribution reach and enhancing the capabilities of our people to ensure that we have a strong foundation from which to deliver sustained growth. Emerging markets are currently passing through a period of slower demand and economic volatility but our strategy remains unchanged. We continue to invest in our brands so that they are well-placed to benefit from the significant longer term growth opportunity that will come from growing populations and higher disposable income.

We remain focused on achieving another year of profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable core operating margin improvement and strong cash flow."

24 April 2014

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       OPERATIONAL REVIEW: CATEGORIES
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 First Quarter 2014
              (unaudited)              Turnover    USG       UVG       UPG
                                         EURbn      %         %         %
Unilever Total                           11.4      3.6       1.9       1.6
Personal Care                             4.2      4.5       2.7       1.8
Foods                                     3.0     (1.7)     (2.0)      0.3
Home Care                                 2.2      7.4       4.8       2.5
Refreshment                               2.1      5.9       3.6       2.2

Our markets: Market growth continued to slow in the emerging markets, particularly in South Asia and South East Asia. Overall, developed markets remained weak although there were some further signs of improvement in southern Europe.

Unilever performance summary: We delivered another quarter of growth ahead of our markets. Emerging markets grew 6.6%, with good contributions from both volume and price. In developed markets, North America had a slow start to the year whereas Europe held up well. We saw continued strong growth from Home Care, a robust performance in Personal Care and an excellent start to the ice cream season in Europe. Foods performance was held back by the timing of Easter and weak markets.

We continued to drive savings programmes and take selective pricing to offset commodity cost increases. The phasing of advertising investment, restructuring spend and savings means that core operating margin is likely to be down in the first half year and up in the second half.

Personal Care
Personal Care grew ahead of our markets driven by a strong innovation programme. Deodorants performed well with the successful compressed aerosol format extended to new markets in Europe and the launch of the premium Advanced Care range for Dove in the United States. In skin, the performance of Lux has stepped up, underpinned by a major relaunch in China and South East Asia. Dove Nutrium Moisture shower gels also continued to drive growth across our markets. Vaseline Spray & Go made good progress in existing markets and was extended to Australia.

In Hair, the Dove Advanced Hair Series was launched in the United States and TRESemmé 7 Day Smooth, which offers salon-smooth hair for up to three washes, was introduced in the United Kingdom and the United States. We also launched dry shampoos under the Elidor brand in Turkey. Capitalising on the growth of male Personal Care products, in oral we launched Signal White Now Men, our first toothpaste specifically designed for men.

Foods
The decline in Foods was largely explained by the later timing of Easter in 2014. We continued to see evidence that we are taking the right actions to deliver consistent growth ahead of our markets. Despite the successful launches of great-tasting products like Rama with Butter in Germany, the decline of the margarine market remained a drag on our spreads growth but we are now gaining market share in margarine in both Europe and North America. Knorr cooking products did well and the successful jelly format was extended into seasonings through the introduction of Knorr Flavour Pots in the United Kingdom. Dressings performance was stable as Hellmann's lapped the 100 year anniversary in the United States.

Home Care
Underlying sales growth was broad-based and volume-led, with a significant impact from our new product launches. In laundry, the new concentrated Small & Mighty liquid detergents with improved formulation and innovative packaging are now present in seven markets and a new 'Eco' refill pack has been introduced. In France we launched Skip multi-action capsules, combining both liquid and powder technology in a single unit dose format to provide enhanced stain removal. Comfort Aromatherapy super-sensorials was extended into South Africa and Turkey.

Household cleaning growth outpaced the market. During the quarter we launched Cif direct application floor cleaner in Europe and Sun Ultimate, our best ever all-in-one dishwash tablets, in France. After successfully launching Domestos Turbo Fresh rotating rim blocks last year, we rolled them out to new countries in Europe. We saw continued good momentum from the recently launched Domestos and Cif in Brazil.

Refreshment
Strong growth in Refreshment was driven by ice cream in Brazil and Australia coupled with a very good start to the ice cream season in Europe. The ice cream innovation programme for 2014 includes products celebrating Magnum's 25th birthday, Klondike Kandy bars and Breyers Gelato in the United States, a new Carte D'Or Artisanal range in Europe and Cornetto with double topping and new flavours in China.

Tea growth accelerated in the United States, helped by the success of Lipton K-Cups®. We also saw good growth in the United Kingdom as PG Tips launched a range of fruit, herbal and green teas. Elsewhere we saw good growth in South Asia, Egypt and Arabia but weaker sales in Russia and Poland. The decline of AdeS soy drinks reduced as we reached the anniversary of the product recall last year.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    OPERATIONAL REVIEW: GEOGRAPHICAL AREA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 First Quarter 2014
               (unaudited)              Turnover    USG      UVG      UPG
                                          EURbn      %        %        %
Unilever Total                            11.4      3.6      1.9      1.6
Asia/AMET/RUB                              4.6      5.8      3.7      2.1
The Americas                               3.6      3.7      0.5      3.2
Europe                                     3.1      0.1      1.1     (1.0)

Asia/AMET/RUB
AAR growth was ahead of our markets and we saw strong performances in China, Turkey and Indonesia and a marked improvement in Japan. Russia was weak reflecting the soft market conditions but our Personal Care brands continued to grow ahead of the market. South Africa grew despite weak markets and intense competition.

We completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the Qinyuan global water purification business, our biggest acquisition in China for more than ten years, more than doubling the size of our water purification business. This represents an important step towards the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan goal to make safe drinking water available and affordable to people across the world.

The Americas
North America declined despite competitive growth from the Personal Care brands. The key drivers of a decline in Foods were the timing of Easter, the decline of the margarine market and weak sales in dressings.

Consistent with our commitment to rigorously review our portfolio we are undertaking a strategic review of our North America pasta sauces business and the Slim.Fast brand.

Latin America delivered another quarter of strong growth and we made good progress despite the difficult macro-economic conditions. We saw good volume growth ahead of our markets coupled with strong price growth reflecting action taken to respond to higher input costs.

Europe
Europe was broadly stable in the first quarter, a good performance given the sluggish markets. Broad-based growth in ice cream, Personal Care and Home Care was largely offset by a decline in Foods. The key markets of United Kingdom and Germany grew ahead of their respective markets. A return to growth in Greece and Spain underlines the improving conditions in southern Europe.

We completed the disposal of the Bifi and Peperami brands during the quarter.

FINANCIAL POSITION

There has been no material change to Unilever's financial position since the published 2013 Group financial statements.

DIVIDENDS

The Boards have declared a quarterly interim dividend for Q1 2014 at the following rates which are equivalent in value at the rate of exchange applied under the terms of the Equalisation Agreement between the two companies:

Per Unilever N.V. ordinary share:                  EUR 0.2850
Per Unilever PLC ordinary share:                   GBP 0.2338
Per Unilever N.V. New York share:                  US$ 0.3938
Per Unilever PLC American Depositary Receipt:      US$ 0.3938

The quarterly interim dividends have been determined in euros and converted into equivalent sterling and US dollar amounts using exchange rates issued by the European Central Bank on 22 April 2014.

US dollar cheques for the quarterly interim dividend will be mailed on 10 June 2014 to holders of record at the close of business on 9 May 2014. In the case of the NV New York shares, Netherlands withholding tax will be deducted.

The quarterly dividend calendar for the remainder of 2014 will be as follows:

                     Announcement   Ex-Dividend
                         Date           Date      Record Date   Payment Date
Quarterly dividend -
 for Q1 2014         24 April 2014   7 May 2014    9 May 2014   11 June 2014

Quarterly dividend -                                            10 September
 for Q2 2014         24 July 2014  6 August 2014 8 August 2014      2014

Quarterly dividend -  23 October     6 November    7 November   10 December
 for Q3 2014             2014          2014*          2014          2014

* For the Q3 2014 dividend, the Ex-dividend date for the NV New York shares and PLC ADRs will be 5 November 2014

COMPETITION INVESTIGATIONS

As previously disclosed, along with other consumer products companies and retail customers, Unilever is involved in a number of ongoing investigations by national competition authorities. These proceedings and investigations are at various stages and concern a variety of product markets. Where appropriate, provisions are made and contingent liabilities disclosed in relation to such matters.

Ongoing compliance with competition laws is of key importance to Unilever. It is Unilever's policy to co-operate fully with competition authorities whenever questions or issues arise. In addition the Group continues to reinforce and enhance its internal competition law training and compliance programme on an ongoing basis.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'looks', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Unilever group (the "Group"). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever's ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext in Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2013 and Annual Report and Accounts 2013. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 ENQUIRIES
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Media: Media Relations Team           Investors: Investor Relations Team
UK +44 20 7823 5354                   +44 20 7822 6830
[email protected]          [email protected]
NL +31 6 1137 5464
[email protected]

There will be a web cast of the results presentation available at:
www.unilever.com/ourcompany/investorcentre/results/quarterlyresults/default.asp

The web cast can also be viewed from the Unilever Investor Relations app which you can download from:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unilever-investor-centre-app/id483403509?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      SEGMENT INFORMATION - CATEGORIES
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(unaudited)
                       Personal              Home
     First Quarter       Care      Foods     Care     Refreshment    Total
Turnover ( EUR million)
  2013                    4,416     3,374     2,274         2,100    12,164
  2014                    4,154     3,019     2,163         2,067    11,403
Change (%)                 (5.9)    (10.5)     (4.9)         (1.6)     (6.3)
Impact of:
  Exchange rates (%)       (9.9)     (6.3)    (11.7)         (7.8)     (8.9)
  Acquisitions (%)            -         -       0.3           0.8       0.2
  Disposals (%)            (0.1)     (2.9)        -             -      (0.8)

Underlying sales growth
 (%)                        4.5      (1.7)      7.4           5.9       3.6
  Price (%)                 1.8       0.3       2.5           2.2       1.6
  Volume (%)                2.7      (2.0)      4.8           3.6       1.9


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  SEGMENT INFORMATION - GEOGRAPHICAL AREA
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(unaudited)
                        Asia /
                        AMET /         The
    First Quarter         RUB        Americas       Europe         Total
Turnover ( EUR
 million)
  2013                      5,029         4,029         3,106        12,164
  2014                      4,641         3,646         3,116        11,403
Change (%)                   (7.7)         (9.5)          0.3          (6.3)
Impact of:
  Exchange rates (%)        (12.4)        (11.4)          0.2          (8.9)
  Acquisitions (%)            0.4             -           0.2           0.2
  Disposals (%)              (0.8)         (1.5)         (0.1)         (0.8)

Underlying sales
 growth (%)                   5.8           3.7           0.1           3.6
  Price (%)                   2.1           3.2          (1.0)          1.6
  Volume (%)                  3.7           0.5           1.1           1.9


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Additional geographical information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(unaudited)
                                           First Quarter
                         Turnover        USG           UVG          UPG
                           EURm           %             %            %
Unilever Total               11,403          3.6           1.9          1.6
Developed markets             4,963         (0.3)          0.6         (0.9)
Emerging markets              6,440          6.6           3.0          3.5


                                          First Quarter
                        Turnover        USG           UVG           UPG
                          EURm           %             %             %
The Americas                 3,646          3.7           0.5           3.2
North America                1,814         (2.4)         (1.0)         (1.4)
Latin America                1,832          9.8           2.1           7.6

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
What do a firewall and a fortress have in common? They are no longer strong enough to protect the valuables housed inside. Like the walls of an old fortress, the cracks in the firewall are allowing the bad guys to slip in - unannounced and unnoticed. By the time these thieves get in, the damage is already done and the network is already compromised. Intellectual property is easily slipped out the back door leaving no trace of forced entry. If we want to reign in on these cybercriminals, it's hig...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will w...
"ElasticBox is an enterprise company that makes it very easy for developers and IT ops to collaborate to develop, build and deploy applications on any cloud - private, public or hybrid," stated Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...