Unilever says Q1 sales down, blames exchange rates
Dutch food and cosmetics giant Unilever on Thursday posted a first-quarter drop in sales down 6.3 percent which it blamed on unfavourable currency exchange rates.
Turnover totalled 11.4 billion euros ($15.7 billion), weighed down by a negative currency impact of 8.9 percent, the Rotterdam-based group said in a statement.
Despite lower sales, Unilever said underlying growth was strong, even in emerging markets where the group has been focusing its business in recent years.
"Emerging markets are currently passing through a period of slower demand and volatility, but our strategy remains unchanged," Unilever chief executive Paul Polman said in the statement.
Emerging markets underlying sales climbed by 6.6 percent year-on-year to 6.44 billion euros, while it fell by 0.3 percent to 4.96 billion euros in developed markets such as Europe.
The Rotterdam-based group has invested massively in developing markets to compensate for the crisis in Europe and the United States, with developing markets now accounting for more than half of sales.
Unilever however did not publish profits for the first quarter. It will do so for the half-year-results.
Founded in 1930, Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of consumer goods and owns a variety of brands such as Lipton Yellow Label tea, Magnum ice cream, Knorr, Omo washing powder, Vaseline and Dove.
It employs over 173,000 people worldwide.
© 2014 AFP