Unilever Posts 8.8% Q2 Underlying Sales Growth Despite Inflation Challenges

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Unilever has recorded underlying sales growth of 8.8% in its Q2 results, amid “the challenges of high inflation and slower global growth”.

The owner of Ben & Jerry’s posted turnover of $15.8 billion for its second quarter and $29.6 billion for its first half. Meanwhile, underlying sales growth for H1 stood at 8.1%.

In Q2, underlying sales grew across Unilever’s Asia/AMET/RUB, Americas and Europe segments, by 9%, 11.7% and 4.6% respectively.

The company’s foods and refreshment business grew its underlying sales by 8.1% in the second quarter and by 7.3% in the first half.

Ice cream underlying sales grew high-single-digit during the first half of the year, driven by strong growth in the out-of-home business. Unilever says that its Magnum and Cornetto brands continued their growth momentum, supported by new variant innovations, while ice cream suffered from supply issues in the US.

Unilever CEO, Alan Jope, said: “Unilever has delivered a first half performance that builds on our momentum of 2021, despite the challenges of high inflation and slower global growth. Underlying sales growth of 8.1% was driven by strong pricing to mitigate input cost inflation, which, as expected, had some impact on volume. We are now raising our sales guidance for the year.”

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He continued: “Underlying operating margin was on track at 17% for the first half. We have made further progress against our strategic priorities. We are maintaining strong investment in our brands, supporting 9.4% underlying sales growth in our billion+ Euro brands. Ecommerce sales now represent 14% of turnover, up from 6% in 2019. Of our three priority markets, the US and India again grew strongly, while sales in China were affected by the lockdowns in the second quarter.”