Unilever reports profit jump on rising sales

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Unilever, a global giant in the food industry and cosmetics sectors, reported a 40-percent leap in quarterly net profit on Thursday.

The outcome for the second quarter, in line with analysts' expectations, was driven by strong sales.

The net figure was 1.06 billion euros (1.39 billion dollars) from 758 million euros in the same period of last year.

This took the results for the whole of the first half of the year to 2.03 billion euros, a rise of 37 percent from the equivalent figure last year.

Unilever said that the volume of sales had continued to rise after the trend in the first quarter when they had surged by 7.6 percent. In the second quarter the rise was 5.7 percent.

The value of sales in the second quarter jumped by 12.4 percent to 11.752 billion euros, slightly higher than forecast by analysts as polled by Dow Jones Newswires who had expected 11.0 percent.

Chief executive Paul Polman said that the outcome was encouraging given difficult conditions in terms of the economy and competition.

He warned that rises in raw materials prices were in the pipeline for the second half.

The group employs about 160,000 people in more than 100 countries.

© 2010 AFP

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