Unilever 1Q Turnover Fell; Will Start Share Buyback in May
By Matteo Castia
-- Unilever's first-quarter turnover decline was due to a
negative currency-related impact
-- The company expects full-year underlying sales growth to meet
its 3% to 5% multiyear target
-- Unilever will start a share-buyback program in May of up to
Unilever PLC said Thursday that turnover in the first quarter
was hurt by unfavorable currency fluctuations but that it still
expects full-year sales to meet its multiyear growth targets, and
that it will start a share-buyback program next month.
The Anglo-Dutch multisector retailer--which owns consumer brands
such as Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and Cif and Domestos
cleaning products--said first-quarter revenue fell 0.9% on the year
to 12.3 billion euros ($14.91 billion). The fall was largely caused
by an 8% negative currency-related impact, it said.
Underlying sales growth rose 5.7% on year, with volumes up 4.7%,
"In North America and Europe strong demand for in-home food has
continued, while demand for most beauty and personal-care
categories has remained subdued," the company said.
The FTSE 100 group said it will start a share-buyback program in
May of up to EUR3.0 billion, in one or more tranches. It said the
buyback program is expected to completed by the end of the
The board declared a quarterly dividend of EUR0.4268.
Unilever warned about the pandemic's continuing boosting effect
on the company's expenses.
"Covid-19 continues to cause additional supply-chain costs and a
negative margin mix. Commodity and freight costs have increased
further and we will be lapping lower marketing spend in the first
half of last year," it said.
Still, the company said it anticipates to deliver underlying
sales growth in 2021 within its multiyear framework of 3% to 5%,
with the first half around the top of this range.
The operational separation of Unilever's tea business, excluding
India and Indonesia and the partnership interests in the
ready-to-drink-tea joint ventures, is progressing well and is
expected to be completed this year, the company said.
"We continue to evaluate the most value creating model,
including an IPO, a demerger, a joint venture, or a disposal, and
we have also appointed an external CEO to lead this business into
its next phase," Unilever said.
Write to Matteo Castia at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 29, 2021 02:52 ET (06:52 GMT)
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