SOURCE: Unilever

November 01, 2007 03:05 ET

Unilever Announces Third Quarter And Nine Month Results 2007 And Interim Dividends

London/ Rotterdam--(Marketwire - November 1, 2007) -

    THIRD QUARTER AND NINE MONTH RESULTS 2007 AND INTERIM DIVIDENDS


KEY FINANCIALS
(unaudited)


     Third Quarter 2007         EUR million          

        Increase/(Decrease)                                          
Current  Current   Constant                                          
rates      rates     rates                                           
                                Continuing operations:
10 243       1 %       4 %      Turnover                             
 1 403      (7)%      (4)%      Operating profit                     
 1 370      21 %      24 %      Pre-tax profit                        
 1 069      37 %      40 %      Net profit from continuing operations 
 1 068      31 %      34 %      Net profit from total operations      

  0.35      44 %      47 %      EPS from continuing operations (Euros)
  0.35      38 %      40 %      EPS from total operations (Euros)     


EUR million       
                                          Nine Months 2007

                                               Increase/(Decrease)
                                     Current    Current   Constant
                                       rates      rates     rates
Continuing operations:
Turnover                              30 297        1 %       4 %
Operating profit                       4 148       (5)%      (1)%
Pre-tax profit                         4 114        9 %      11 %
Net profit from continuing operations  3 274       17 %      20 %
Net profit from total operations       3 349       15 %      18 %

EPS from continuing operations (Euros)  1.07       20 %      23 %
EPS from total operations (Euros)       1.10       17 %      20 %


                     THIRD QUARTER RESULTS SUSTAIN MOMENTUM

HIGHLIGHTS

Financial Highlights

-  Underlying sales growth of 5.3% in the first nine months.  
   Third quarter underlying sales growth of 4.5% (5.2% adjusted 
   for systems change in the US which pulled sales forward into
   the second quarter).

-  Operating margin of 13.7% in the quarter and in the first nine
   months, with an underlying improvement of 0.2 percentage points
   and 0.3 percentage points respectively.

-  Earnings per share from continuing operations up 20% in the 
   first nine months, with an increased contribution from joint 
   ventures and associates, lower financing costs, and a lower 
   tax rate.

Operational Highlights

-  Growth momentum sustained across regions and categories, 
   broadly in line with markets.

-  Further sharp rise in commodity costs offset by increased 
   pricing and strong contribution from savings programmes.

-  Good progress in implementation of accelerated restructuring
   plans and portfolio development.  Restructuring charges of 
   EUR234 million charged to operating profit in the third 
   quarter.

Interim dividend

-  Interim dividend of EUR0.25 per NV share and 17.00p per PLC share.

GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE COMMENT

"The third quarter marks a continuation of the momentum established in the first half of 2007.

The focus on our growth priorities, together with stronger innovation, improved speed to market and better in-market execution, is delivering consistent and sustainable organic growth.

At the same time, we have seen a third consecutive quarter of underlying improvement in operating margins, despite a significantly tougher cost environment. Commodity pressures have increased sharply, but we have successfully offset these through timely pricing action and continued delivery from our savings programmes.

We have made a strong start in implementing the accelerated change programme announced in August. In the third quarter, we have progressed the establishment of several new multi-country organisations as well as significant supply chain restructuring in Europe. We have also announced a number of portfolio changes, including the extension of our international Lipton ready-to-drink-tea joint venture with PepsiCo.

Looking forward, I am confident that we will achieve our outlook for 2007, given in August, and that our change programme leaves us well placed to deliver our longer term objectives."

Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive             1 November 2007


ENQUIRIES

Media: Media Relations Team                     
UK +44 20 7822 6805 tim.johns@unilever.com      
NL +31 10 217 4844                              
tanno.massar@unilever.com

Investors: Investor Relations Team
UK +44 20 7822 6830  investor.relations@unilever.com
US +1 201 894 2615 investor.relations-NewYork@unilever.com
There will be a web cast of the results presentation available at: www.unilever.com/ourcompany/investorcentre/results/quarterlyresults/default.asp

UNILEVER THIRD QUARTER RESULTS 2007 AND INTERIM DIVIDENDS

In the following commentary we report underlying sales growth (USG) at constant exchange rates, excluding the effects of acquisitions and disposals. Turnover includes the impact of exchange rates and acquisitions and disposals. Unilever uses 'constant rate' and 'underlying' measures primarily for internal performance analysis and targeting purposes. We also use the movements in Ungeared Free Cash Flow and Return On Invested Capital to measure progress against our longer-term value creation goals. Unilever believes that such measures provide additional information for shareholders on underlying business performance trends. Such measures are not defined under IFRS or US GAAP and are not intended to be a substitute for GAAP measures of turnover, profit and cash flow. Further information about these measures is available on our website at www.unilever.com/ourcompany/investorcentre.

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