Unilever Announces 2021 Half Year Results

With underlying sales growth of 5.4%, Unilver's half year results show a strong performance.
With underlying sales growth of 5.4%, Unilver's half year results show a strong performance.

Unilever has announced the results for the first half of 2021, showing strong performance and underlying sales growth of 5.4%.

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The half-year report also shares the following items:

  • Underlying sales growth of 5.4%, with 4.0% volume and 1.3% price.
  • Turnover increased 0.3% including a positive impact of 1.4% from acquisitions net of disposals and a negative impact of 6.1% from currency-related items.
  • Underlying operating margin of 18.8%, a decrease of 100bps driven by investment behind brands and input cost inflation.
  • Underlying earnings per share down 2.0%, including a negative impact of 6.3% from currency.
  • Free cash flow of €2.4 billion, compared to €2.9 billion in the first half of 2020.
  • Quarterly shareholder dividend of €0.4268 per share and share buyback program of up to €3 billion underway.
  • Emerging markets grew 8.3%, driven by continued recovery in China and strong performance in South Asia, both growing double digits.
  • Beauty & Personal Care underlying sales grew 3.3% with 1.8% from volume and 1.4% from price.
  • Home Care underlying sales grew 4.5% with 4.8% from volume and a negative price of 0.3%.
  • Foods & Refreshment underlying sales grew 8.1% with 5.8% from volume and 2.1% from price.

Alan Jope, CEO, said, “Unilever has delivered a strong first half, with underlying sales growth of 5.4% driven by our continued focus on operational excellence. We are making good progress against the strategic choices outlined earlier this year, including the development of our portfolio into high-growth spaces. Prestige Beauty and Functional Nutrition grew strongly, and we recently announced the acquisition of digitally native skin care brand Paula’s Choice. The operational separation of our tea business is substantially complete. Our e-commerce business grew 50% and the channel now represents 11% of sales. Competitive growth is our priority, and we are confident that we will deliver underlying sales growth in 2021 well within our multi-year framework of 3-5%, despite more challenging comparators in the second half. We have seen further cost inflation emerge through the second quarter. Cost volatility and the timing of landing price actions create a higher-than-normal range of likely year-end margin outcomes. We are managing this dynamically and expect to maintain an underlying operating margin for 2021 around flat.”

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