SOURCE: Unilever

February 02, 2012 02:12 ET

Unilever announces Final Results

LONDON/ ROTTERDAM--(Marketwire - Feb 2, 2012) -



Full year highlights

. Underlying sales growth ahead of our markets at 6.5% with price
  up 4.8% and volume growth 1.6%. Emerging markets delivered 11.5%
  underlying sales growth.

. Turnover up 5.0% at EUR46.5 billion despite a negative currency
  impact of (2.5)%. Acquisitions and disposals delivered a positive
  contribution of 1.2%.

. Advertising and promotions spend at EUR6.2 billion, up EUR150
  million including acquisitions.

. Underlying operating margin down by 10bps with a reduction in
  overheads offsetting much of the pressure on gross margins from higher
  commodity costs.

. Core earnings per share up 4% at EUR1.41 and free cash flow of
  EUR3.1 billion.

Fourth quarter highlights

. Underlying sales growth at 6.6% with 6.5% price growth and
  volume growth of 0.1%. Volume growth was approximately 1% adjusting
  for the impact of sales brought forward to quarter 3 prior to a
  successful SAP upgrade in North America.

                     Chief Executive Officer"In 2011 we have made
significant progress in the transformation of
Unilever to a sustainable growth company despite difficult markets and
an unusual number of significant external challenges. We continue to
implement our strategy with discipline, taking the right decisions for
the long term however difficult they may be in the short term. Whether
it be our focus on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the extension
of our brands into new markets with the associated up-front investment,
or the actions to remove unsustainable cost burdens from our structure,
we are doing the right things to strengthen Unilever for the longer

The new organisation is now in place and already delivering benefits in
terms of clear accountability, operational focus and speed of action.
We are reaping the benefits of recent acquisitions, which have been
rapidly integrated, with examples such as TRESemme in Brazil and Simple
in the US, both launched within nine months of completing the
acquisition of Alberto Culver.

Our overall performance was driven by outstanding growth in emerging
markets and the Home Care and Personal Care categories. We invested
heavily in our brands and exit the year with positive momentum. In
Foods, whilst price increases have impacted volumes, we have grown in
line with our markets and gained share in many of our key businesses.

We expect the external macro-economic environment to remain difficult
in 2012 and input cost headwinds will persist, although to a lesser
extent than in 2011. Within this challenging context our over-riding
priority is to manage our brands for the long term health of the
business whilst delivering: profitable volume growth ahead of our
markets, steady and sustainable core operating margin improvement and
strong cash flow."

Key Financials (unaudited)
Current Rates                                       Full Year 2011

Underlying Sales Growth (*)                              6.5%

Turnover                                         EUR46,467m         +5%
Operating Profit                                  EUR6,433m         +1%
Net Profit                                        EUR4,623m         +1%
Core earnings per share (*)                         EUR1.41         +4%
Diluted earnings per share                          EUR1.46          0%

Quarterly dividend
payable in March 2012     EUR0.225 per share

(*) Underlying sales growth and core earnings per
share are non-GAAP measures, see note 2 on page 10.    2 February 2012

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