Unilever reports 31 pc Q3 profit gain

1st November 2007, Comments 0 comments

1 November 2007, ROTTERDAM - Anglo-Dutch food group Unilever reported a 31 percent gain in third quarter net earnings Thursday despite a slowdown in sales in Europe where bad weather cut into ice cream consumption. The company said net profit came to EUR 1.068 billion from sales that were up 1.0 percent compared to third quarter 2006 at EUR 10.243 billion. "I think we will achieve our goals in 2007 ... and that our overall strategy will put us in a good position to meet our long-term targets," said Unileve

1 November 2007

ROTTERDAM - Anglo-Dutch food group Unilever reported a 31 percent gain in third quarter net earnings Thursday despite a slowdown in sales in Europe where bad weather cut into ice cream consumption.
 
The company said net profit came to EUR 1.068 billion from sales that were up 1.0 percent compared to third quarter 2006 at EUR 10.243 billion.
 
"I think we will achieve our goals in 2007 ... and that our overall strategy will put us in a good position to meet our long-term targets," said Unilever chief executive Patrick Cescau.

Shares in the group were showing an early gain of 3.62 percent on the Amsterdam exchange at EUR 23.20.

Unilever, which markets the ice cream brands Ben and Jerry's, Magnum and Cornetto, said "the weather in northern Europe affected ice cream sales in the third quarter."

Overall European sales, which represent about a third of the total, fell 0.6 percent in the period from the same quarter last year.

Sales also fell 2.3 percent in the United States but jumped 8.1 percent in Africa-Asia to EUR 3.0 billion, driven by robust performances in China and India.

Unilever, which also makes Lipton soups, Dove soap and Amora mustard, in early August announced plans to cut 20,000 jobs worldwide over the next four years, or 11 percent of its workforce. The company at the time said it expected sales this year to grow by 3.0 to 5.0 percent.

The group also said it would either close or "substantially rationalise" 50 to 60 production sites in order to reduce costs.

The restructuring cost Unilever EUR 234 million in the third quarter, which contributed to 7.0 percent decline in operating earnings to EUR 1.403 billion.

[Copyright AFP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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