A PICK-UP in revenues from emerging markets helped consumer goods giant Unilever to beat City forecasts.
The UK-Dutch company – which owns brands including Dove soap, Lynx deodorant and Wall’s ice cream – said today that underlying annual sales growth hit 4.1 per cent in the closing months of last year, accelerating from the 3.2 per cent rise posted during the third quarter.
Keith Bowman, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: “Investors appear to be breathing a sigh of relief.
“Following a disappointing third quarter, fourth-quarter sales have exceeded forecasts.
“Importantly, sales in emerging markets have seen a rebound, with Russia, Turkey, China and Indonesia notable performers.”
Full-year turnover at Unilever – which also makes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Knorr stock cubes and Lipton tea – dipped by 3 per cent to €49.8 billion (£40.9bn) but pre-tax profits climbed by 9 per cent to €9bn.