- Unilever’s underlying sales came in 4.4% higher in the fiscal third quarter.
- The multisector retailer says turnover was 2.4% lower in Q3.
- The company’s board declared 37.46 pence per share of quarterly dividend.
In its quarterly report on Thursday, Unilever plc (LON: ULVR) revealed an increase in its underlying sales attributed primarily to a higher demand for products related to hand and home hygiene. The company also said that food sales remained strong in the fiscal third quarter as the Coronavirus pandemic pushed people into eating at home.
Unilever opened about 0.5% up on Thursday and jumped another 0.5% in the next hour. Shares of the company are now trading at £47.28 per share versus a year to date low of £37.26 per share in March. The stock started the year at a per-share price of £43.47 per share. Trading stocks online is easier than you think. Here’s how you can buy shares online in 2020.
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Unilever says turnover was 2.4% lower in Q3
The owner of prominent brands, including Dove soap, Ben Jerry’s ice cream, and Cif, said it’s underlying sales in the third quarter were 4.4% higher on a year over year basis. Experts had forecast a much lower 1.3% growth instead. In the prior quarter, Unilever had registered a 1.6% annualised decline in sales.
The multisector retailer said that performance was strongest in emerging markets that contributed close to 60% to its total quarterly revenue. Emerging markets sales came in 5.3% higher on an annualised basis versus a 3.1% increase in the developed markets. In North America, Unilever’s sales saw a 9.1% growth in the recent quarter.
Turnover, as per Unilever, posted a 2.4% decline in Q3 to £11.65 billion. The London-headquartered company refrained from giving its short-term guidance citing the Coronavirus uncertainty.
CEO Alan Jope’s comments on Thursday
According to CEO Alan Jope:
“We’ve moved from response mode to now living with COVID-19, but the environment that we’re operating in remains highly unpredictable, and we believe, an economic downturn is inevitable.”
Unilever valued turnover from beauty and personal care in Q3 at £4.78 billion. The company’s board declared 37.46 pence per share of quarterly dividend on Thursday, versus 35.67 pence per share last year. In the first week of September, Unilever said it will invest £890 million to eliminate fossil fuels from cleaning products by 2030.
Unilever performed only slightly upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of roughly 4%. At the time of writing, it is valued at £123.17 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 23.01.