Unilever revenue rises 6.1%

Consumer goods maker Unilever ULVR.L UNc.AS reported better than expected first-quarter sales on Thursday, helped by pricing growth.

Unilever was approached in February by United States rival Kraft Heinz, with a $143bn (£111bn) takeover offer, sending shares shooting up 15 per cent.

The company's shares are up 1.5% as sales rose 2.9% in its first quarter beating a forecast of 2%.

Polman added that the company would deliver sales growth in the 3-5% range for the whole year.

Hargreaves Lansdown Select Equity funds manager Steve Clayton agreed that the takeover threat from Kraft Heinz pushed the Dutch-British consumer company "into a more radical pace and scale of change than they had originally chosen for themselves".

In London, Unilever shares were trading at 3,983.50 pence, up 1.17 percent.

Nestle reported organic growth of 2.3% in the first three months of the year, boosted by Asia and Africa.


Chief executive Paul Polman said the firm is on track for full-year underlying sales growth.

Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day.

As of 09:20 BST, Unilever's share price had added 1.13 percent to 3,982.00p, outperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into the red and now standing 0.05 percent lower at 7,110.85 points.

Unilever, which embarked on a wide-ranging review after Kraft came knocking, earlier said it would aim to cut costs and sell or spin off its struggling spreads business, which includes Flora and Stork.

The quarterly dividend has been raised by 12 percent.

While it aims for volume-led growth, Unilever's expansion this quarter was entirely dependent on rising prices as volume slipped and prices jumped by 3%.

The household-product giant, whose portfolio includes Hellmann's mayonnaise and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, has agreed to buy Sir Kensington's, an upstart food company that makes natural and non-GMO ketchup and eggless mayo, according to people familiar with the matter.


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