Unilever: 2017 revenues of € 53.7 billion, net profit up 17%
Food increases, thanks to the new product portfolio
Unilever profits rose in 2017, thanks to the growth in emerging markets and its 11 acquisitions. Net income is 16.9% to 6.5 billion euros and turnover rose 1.9% to 53.7 billion euros. The company declared that its increase, in volume terms in the fourth quarter with 4.2% from emerging markets, included the benefits derived from its innovation plan.
Unilever, which employs 169,000 people worldwide and owns over 400 brands, has rejected an attempt to merge with Kraft Heinz last year. The acquisition attempt has led Unilever to liquidate part of its less profitable business for € 6.83 billion in an attempt to rejuvenate its own business. The company said that the market conditions in 2017 "are still difficult" with volumes in the markets in which it operates "with a growth lower than 1%".
"We expect another growth of 3-5% and an improvement in operating margin and cash flow, to keep us in line with the 2020 targets," said CEO Paul Polman.
As part of its activities in the food sector, Unilever said it had started modernizing its portfolio with innovations and acquisitions, strengthening its presence in emerging markets and sustaining a strong performance in the food services channels. The growth in the salty sector, higher than the group average, was born from the good performances of Knorr and local brands such as Bango and Pot Noodle. Nearby, Hellmann was re-launched with more natural ingredients in 25 markets, while biologival variants were brought from North America to Europe. However, volumes growth was moderated by an increase of promotional intensity throughout the year, particularly in North America.
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