In spite of the global economic downturn, Unilever posted a 60% rise in third-quarter net profits on Oct. 30. "In the first nine months of the year we have delivered over seven percent underlying sales growth," group chief executive Patrick Cescau said. "We have strengthened the business in a tough environment. Despite the price rises needed in the light of unprecedented cost increases, our volumes are holding up."
The company was cutting costs and "reshaping the portfolio" to focus on priority brands.
The group posted sales of 10.4 billion euros in the third quarter, and net profit of 1.7 billion euros (US$2.25 billion).
The company said its business in Europe grew by 2.4% so far this year, and 3.9% in the United States. Growth in developing markets was strong, with 15.1% recorded in Asia and Africa in the first nine months.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008