SOURCE: Unilever

November 05, 2009 02:00 ET

Unilever PLC Announces 3rd Quarter Results

LONDON and ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - November 5, 2009) -


               2009 THIRD QUARTER AND NINE MONTHS RESULTS

         CONTINUED GOOD PROGRESS IN VOLUME, MARGIN AND CASH FLOW


Third Quarter highlights

.   Underlying sales growth 3.4%, with volume growth 3.6%. All
    regions and categories showing positive volumes.
.   Gross margin up 290 bps from efficiencies and lower costs.
.   Advertising and promotion spend increased by 130 bps, mainly
    additional advertising to support innovations and build
    brands. Overheads up by 90 bps, mainly due to phasing, with full
    year expected to be down..   Operating margin before RDIs up by 70 bps.
.   Continued progress on strategic initiatives:
        o Opening of new Research and Development centre in Shanghai.
        o Announcement of agreement to acquire the personal care
          business of Sara Lee.
        o Disposal of plantations in the Congo and announced sale of
          stake in JohnsonDiversey.

Nine Months Highlights

.   Underlying sales growth 4.1%, with volumes up 1.4%. Turnover
    lower by 0.7% after effects of currency movements (-1.7%) and
    disposals/acquisitions (-3.0%).
.   Operating margin before RDIs down by 10 bps (including 30 bps of
    margin dilution from disposals).
.   Operating profit in the first nine months of 2008 included
    profits on disposals of EUR1,579 million pre-tax.
.   Net cash flow from operating activities EUR1.6 billion ahead of
    last year driven by improved working capital.
Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer:  "We have seen further good
progress across all regions and the majority of countries and
categories.  Our market shares are responding to stronger innovations,
greater consumer value, increased marketing support and better
execution.  Market conditions remain challenging and in this
environment we will continue to increase investment behind our
brands and build long-term capabilities in research and development.
We are on track towards our objective of restoring volume growth while
protecting margins and cash flow for the year as a whole."


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