In the wake of recent leadership changes, Unilever (LON: ULVR )'s Q3 report indicated a 5.2% sales increase to £13.3 billion, spurred by a 5.8% price hike despite a 0.6% decrease in sales volume. The multinational consumer goods company, known for its brands such as Dove, Persil, Hellmann’s, and Ben & Jerry’s, is strategizing to stimulate growth by concentrating on its 30 most profitable brands.
Beauty and home care brands including Simple, Vaseline, Radox, and Comfort outperformed ice cream brands like Cornetto and Magnum, as well as nutrition brands such as Marmite and Hellmann’s which were impacted by inclement weather and competition from supermarket own-brand versions.
Europe witnessed a significant 13.2% price surge that compensated for a 10.7% sales volume decline. The inflationary pressures appeared to affect European consumers more than their counterparts in the US, where consumer sentiment remains robust. CFO Graeme Pitkethly anticipates an end to what he referred to as "once-in-a-lifetime levels of cost inflation" by next year.
Fernando Fernandez, the current president of the beauty and wellbeing division, will take over from Pitkethly as CFO starting next year. CEO Hein Schumacher acknowledged the company's underperformance despite having a "portfolio of great brands used by 3.4 billion people each day", and committed to driving growth and productivity.
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