Food and consumer products giant Unilever posted a rise in profits and sales last year despite ‘challenging’ market conditions.
The maker of Dove, Marmite and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream posted a 4 per cent increase in underlying sales in the final period of the year. Net profit jumped 16.9 per cent on sales of €53.7bn (£46.9bn) and its pre-tax profit rose 9 per cent to €8.15bn (£7.1bn).
For this year, the group forecast underlying sales growth of 3 to 5 per cent.
Talking about today’s results, chief executive Paul Polman said: “We have delivered a good all-round performance with competitive growth, including an innovation-led improvement in volumes in the fourth quarter, and substantially increased margin, earnings and cash flow.”
The group further said that “overall market conditions remained challenging in 2017 with volumes in the markets in which we operate growing at less than 1 per cent”.