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Gloucestershire Business News

Unilever reports better than expected sales growth

Consumer goods giant Unilever has reported a stronger than expected return to sales growth in its third quarter.

The company, which owns the ice cream factory in Barnwood, said it is recovering well from a fall in the previous period which saw a drop in revenue from its foodservice, out-of-home ice cream, and non-hygiene personal care products.

Unilever posted a 4.4 per cent increase in underlying sales, however overall turnover decreased 2.4 per cent to €12.9 billion.

Home care was reported as the firm's best-performing sector with sales up 6.7 per cent, driven predominantly by demand for its household cleaning products during the pandemic.

Unilever's sales in beauty and personal care also rose 3.8 per cent, as well as foods and refreshments by 3.7 per cent.

Sales of ice cream increased as in-home consumption rose, which Unilever said offset the decline in out-of-home sales. However, due to the continued impact of Covid on the hospitality industry, foodservice sales fell by 20 per cent.

Chief Executive Alan Jope said: "The environment we are operating in will remain unpredictable in the near term, so we will continue to maintain the speed and agility of our response.

"Our focus remains volume-led competitive growth, delivering absolute profit and free cash flow."

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