Unilever (NYSE:UL), the consumer goods powerhouse that produces a variety of household products and food brands, posted a small sales decline that beat estimates on Thursday.

Some sales up, some sales down

The British-Dutch multinational company saw high sales in many of its essential household product categories, but decreased sales in commercial categories such as restaurants, because of business closures.

Sales declined 3.1% during the second quarter but adjusted sales were essentially flat, falling 0.3%. E-commerce, however, grew 49%.

Girl with soap on her hands.

Image source: Getty Images.

Unilever separates its business into three main categories: beauty and personal care, home care, and foods and refreshment. Home care, which includes household cleaning products, saw the greatest increases. Some of Unilever's U.S. brands include Dove and Vaseline, while food brands well known in the U.S. include Breyer's, Hellman's, Knorr, and Lipton. Dove, the largest of its personal-care brands, had a single-digit sales increase. While people stayed home, there were higher sales of foods, ice cream, and tea.

Most of the personal-care category saw decreased sales as a people stayed home, expect for hygiene products, which had increased sales. Hand and home hygiene products increased by double-digits. Food service declined 40% and to-go ice cream decreased 30%.

Spinning off its tea business

Unilever also announced that it's separating out its tea business outside of India and Indonesia, where it sees an "exciting future" as a distinct entity. It expects to complete the separation by 2021.

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