Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Unilever has cautioned that 2016 will be a highly volatile year

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Unilever has warned on “high volatility” in”¯2016, following a”¯drop”¯in profits.

While fourth quarter underlying sales growth was ahead of city expectations, Unilever‘s full year profits fell by 5% for 2015.

Paul Polman, Chief Exec at the consumer goods giant,”¯said it had been a “challenging year” for the brand, highlighting “slower global economic growth, intensifying geopolitical instability, and high currency and commodity volatility.” 

Emerging markets, where Unilever makes 58% of its sales, grew 7.1%, although there was little, if any, growth in established regions.   

Polman insisted that despite this, Unilever had become a “more resilient business”, demonstrated by “consistency of performance” in delivering “underlying sales growth, market expansion and strong cash flow.”

The Ben & Jerry‘s ice-cream maker is remaining cautious in preparation for unpredictability and “tougher market conditions in 2016”, which he said had already been demonstrated by recent world events. 

“Therefore it is vital that we drive agility and cost discipline across our business,” he added. “We are further strengthening our innovation funnel while shortening innovation cycle times, stepping up our digital capabilities and rolling out a global zero based budgeting programme. Our priorities continue to be volume-driven growth ahead of our markets, steady improvement in core operating margin and strong cash flow.”