By Matteo Castia

 

Unilever PLC on Thursday reported a slight fall in pretax profit for the first half of the year and said it expects to meet its multi-year framework for revenue growth in 2021 as a whole despite tougher comparatives.

The Anglo-Dutch multisector retailer--which owns consumer brands such as Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and Cif and Domestos cleaning products--posted a pretax profit of 4.37 billion euros ($5.15 billion) for the period, compared with EUR4.53 billion in the year-earlier period.

First-half turnover came in at EUR25.79 billion, including EUR13.45 billion in the second quarter. This compares with prior-year figures of EUR25.71 billion and EUR13.29 billion, respectively.

Underlying sales rose 5.4% year-on-year in the first half, including a 5.0% increase in the second quarter. Underlying sales of foods and refreshment jumped 8.1%, while home-care underlying sales rose 4.5%.

Meanwhile, beauty and personal care underlying sales increased 3.3% on the year, with underlying sales growth accelerating to 4.2% in the second quarter, helped by increased personal care consumption as restrictions were eased in some markets.

"Restrictions on daily life continue around the world, impacting channel dynamics, sales mix and consumer behavior," the company said.

The board declared a second-quarter dividend of 42.68 Euro cents a share.

"We are confident that we will deliver underlying sales growth in 2021 well within our multi-year framework of 3% to 5%, despite more challenging comparators in the second half," Chief Executive Alan Jope said.

 

Write to Matteo Castia at matteo.castia@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 22, 2021 02:49 ET (06:49 GMT)

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