Andrew Wood, senior research analyst at New York-based Sanford C Bernstein, said the group continued to delivery healthy volume growth in Q3, ahead of “both our estimates and consensus”, despite such negatives as the weather-related impact on its European ice cream division.
Wood, who has an “outperform” rating on the shares, commented that Unilever’s emerging markets presence was a strong driver in its sales performance. Underling sales in European markets dipped 0.5%.
According to Wood, Unilver’s organic growth was “best-in-class” of the major food and personal care groups that have reported Q3 so far including Nestlé, Danone, P&G, and Colgate.
UK hits Kellogg's European business
Meanwhile, US headquartered cereal and snack maker, Kellogg today reported that its third quarter 2011 operating profit was $464m, a decline of 14%.
Internal net sales in Europe declined 2%, said the Special K manufacturer, adding that the downward momentum was driven by the market environment in the UK, which remains challenging.
But continental Europe, it noted, continued to improve with growth posted across France, Italy, and Spain.
Overall, Europe's internal operating profit was down 21%, continued Kellogg’s, who cited higher income costs and, again, the UK market as factors.
The cereal company has cut its outlook for the year, based on planned expenditure to boost its supply chain following two costly product recalls of late, and investment in brand exposure through advertising and other marketing initiatives.