SOURCE: Unilever

February 03, 2011 02:16 ET

Unilever PLC 2010 Full Year and Fourth Qtr Results

LONDON/ ROTTERDAM--(Marketwire - February 3, 2011) -



2010 FULL YEAR AND FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

STRONG YEAR AS TRANSFORMATION PROGRESSES

Full year highlights

*  Turnover up 11.1% at EUR44.3 billion, with 7.3% due to currency.

*  Underlying volume growth 5.8%. Underlying sales growth 4.1% and
   underlying price growth (1.6)%; in-quarter pricing flat for first nine
   months, positive in the fourth quarter.

*  Underlying operating margin up 20bps with increased investment in
   advertising and promotions up 30 bps, funded by higher gross margins
   and lower indirects. Margin underpinned by savings of EUR1.4 billion.

*  Healthy free cash flow of EUR3.4 billion reflecting continuing
   improvement in working capital.

*  Fully diluted earnings per share EUR1.46 up 25%.

Fourth Quarter highlights

*  Underlying volume growth 5.1%. Underlying sales growth 5.1% with
   underlying price growth flat; positive in-quarter pricing.

*  Underlying operating margin down 20bps. Lower gross margin, primarily
   due to increased commodity costs. Reduced advertising and promotions
   spend, indirects higher due to phasing across the quarters.

                        Chief Executive Officer

"We are pleased with another year of good results in which we delivered
against all our key priorities and further progressed the transformation of
Unilever. We delivered strong volume growth, particularly in emerging
markets which continued to be the engine of growth. We gained volume share
in all regions driven by stronger innovations, significant increases in
marketing investment and the extension of our brands into new territories.
At the same time we delivered margin improvement through a strong savings
programme, lower indirects and volume efficiencies. This, coupled with
excellent working capital management, enabled us to deliver robust cash
flow.

The Unilever of today is more agile and confident, now fully fit to
compete. We remain focused on serving our consumers and customers and
building the long term health of our brands. Despite the intense
competition and the return of commodity cost volatility, our objectives
remain: profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and
sustainable underlying operating margin improvement and strong cash flow."

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