The company, which is the force behind 400 popular brands, including Lynx deodorant,Cornetto ice cream, and Domestos bleach, seems to have impressed investors with a series of encouraging statements.
During July, Unilever announced half-year results for 2012 that highlighted an 11.5% rise in turnover, bringing the figure to 25.4 billion euros, as well as an increase in core earnings per share of 6%, to 0.76 euros. However, net profit was also up, at 2.4 billion euros, but by a smaller rate of 1%.
During October, Unilever's third-quarter statement revealed turnover had climbed by 10% to 13 billion euros and underlying volume growth was ahead of the market at 3.4%. Also revealed in the statement was the company's underlying sales growth of 5.9%.
Then in January, Unilever disclosed full-year results that revealed core earnings per share up by 11% to 1.57 euros. The company also revealed fourth-quarter underlying sales growth of 8% and boasted free cash flow had reached 4.3 billion euros.
Paul Polman, Unilever's chief executive, said at the time:
We continue to make good progress in transforming Unilever into a sustainable growth company. We have reported another quarter of good quality, profitable growth ahead of our markets. All categories and all geographies grew with a good overall balance between volume and price. Emerging markets again contributed double-digit growth helping us exceed 50 billion euro turnover, an important milestone in our journey to double the size of Unilever from 40 [billion] to 80 billion euros while reducing our environmental impact.
Polman also highlighted the introduction of Magnum and Sunsilk to Unilever's roster of 1-billion-euro brands, which now stand at 14.
Unilever's first-quarter update for 2013 will be published on April 25, which may reveal further positive news that can encourage investors.
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