Unilever, the consumer products company based in both the UK and the Netherlands, recently released its Q3 trading statement, revealing strong results in the face of challenges posed by negative currency effects. While the reported turnover declined by 3.8%, the underlying sales growth (USG) showed a positive trend of 5.2%.

Unilever’s Beauty & Well-being division, which is a significant sector for the company, experienced a 4.9% fall in reported turnover. However, it saw a notable increase of 7.4% in USG. Similarly, the Personal Care division showed a decrease of 2.2% in reported turnover but demonstrated a substantial increase of 8% in USG.

The company attributed a significant portion of the 5.2% underlying sales growth to higher prices, accounting for 5.8% of the growth. However, this figure was slightly offset by a 0.6% decline in volume. Unilever explained that the moderation of underlying price growth is due to easing inflation, which led to positive underlying volumes in both the Beauty & Well-being and Personal Care sectors.

While the reported turnover decline is concerning, Unilever clarified that 8% of the decrease was primarily due to negative currency effects, with an additional 0.6% resulting from disposals net of acquisitions. However, Unilever’s billion-plus-euro brands, which contribute to 56% of its total turnover, showcased promising results with underlying sales growth of 7.2%, driven by a 1.4% increase in volume growth. Leading brands such as Dove and Sunsilk played a significant role in these positive results.

In terms of specific divisions, the Beauty and Well-being sector demonstrated solid USG of 7.4%, achieved through balanced growth in price and volume. Within this sector, Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing continued to grow significantly. The Personal Care sector exhibited growth of 8%, with 4% attributed to price growth and an impressive 3.9% resulting from volume increase, primarily driven by double-digit growth from Deodorants.

Unilever also highlighted the growth in emerging markets, where underlying sales increased by 8.3%. These markets showcased improved volume growth of 2.6% and price growth of 5.6%. Notably, Latin America displayed exceptional USG of 14%, with a further increase in volumes at 6.2%, although price growth slightly slowed to 7.4%. South Asia demonstrated mid-single-digit growth, with reduced pricing in Skin Cleansing and Fabric Cleaning. However, the Chinese market’s recovery has been slower than expected, resulting in a mid-single-digit decline in sales. Meanwhile, South East Asia experienced low-single-digit growth.

Developed markets showed moderate growth of 0.8%, primarily driven by price growth of 6.3%, despite a decline in volumes of 5.2%. North America and Europe both experienced growth in low-single-digits, primarily driven by price.

Overall, Unilever’s Q3 results demonstrate a solid performance in key divisions, despite challenges from negative currency effects. With promising growth in emerging markets and the success of billion-plus-euro brands, Unilever continues to showcase its resilience and adaptability in the consumer products industry.

For more information on Unilever’s Q3 trading statement, you can visit their official website here. Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about the consumer products industry, you can find useful insights and market analysis here.