Anglo-Dutch company, which last month announced plans to consolidate its global headquarters in Rotterdam instead of London, also hiked its dividend 8%
Unilever, the consumer goods giant which owns brands including Dove, Marmite and Ben & Jerry's, announced its first-quarter turnover fell 5.2 per cent to €12.6bn thanks to unfavourable exchange rate movements.
Underlying sales growth was 3.7 per cent, stripping out currency movements and sales from its spreads business, which it has agreed to sell.
The Anglo-Dutch company, which last month announced plans to consolidate its global headquarters in Rotterdam instead of London, also hiked its dividend by 8 per cent and unveiled plans for a €6bn (£5.2bn) share buyback starting in May.
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London may be losing Unilever’s HQ but it must not lose its shares
Emerging markets underlying sales grew 5.1 per cent but that wasn't enough to satisfy investors.
Shares in Unilever were down 1.5 per cent in morning trading.
Unilever announced in December that it had sold its spreads business, which includes Flora and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, to private equity house KKR in a £6bn deal. The transfer of the business is expected to complete by the middle of the year.
Unilever chief executive Paul Polman said the first quarter demonstrated a good volume-driven performance.
“We are further improving the quality and speed of our global and local innovation as a result of a more agile, consumer-facing organisation,” he said.
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