Prestige beauty boosts Unilever in Q1
Unilever’s Q1 results on Thursday saw the multinational fast-moving consumer goods firm turning in a strong sales rise, although that was down to price rises with volume sales actually dipping slightly.
Underlying sales growth was 7.3%, with 8.3% of that accounted for by price and a 1% volume deficit.
Total turnover increased by 11.8% to €13.8 billion, including a currency impact of 3.5%.
CEO Alan Jope said: “We are executing well in a very challenging input cost environment. Underlying sales growth of 7.3% was driven by strong pricing, with a limited impact on volume in the quarter. This performance was delivered against the backdrop of significant rises in input costs that have further accelerated through the first three months of the year, and the human tragedy of the war in Ukraine.”
Over the period, Beauty & Personal Care grew 7.1%, driven by price and continued strong growth in Prestige Beauty and vitamins, minerals and supplements.
Underlying sales growth in the division was 7.1% to reach €5.7 billion, which translates to 7.4% price growth and a dip of 0.3% by volume.
Within that, Skincare grew in low-single-digits, driven by North Asia and South Asia, while sales in North America were flat. But Prestige Beauty had another quarter of double-digit growth, on top of a very strong prior year comparison, when the health & beauty channel reopened. Its Hourglass and Living Proof brands “started strongly into the year supported by the premium hair and make-up categories bouncing back”.
Deodorants posted high-single-digit growth, helped by technology-driven innovations behind Dove and Rexona, as well as Axe making a strong start to the year.
Hair posted mid-single-digit growth, led by both styling and wash & care. Sunsilk and TRESemmé contributed strongly with price-led growth while Suave declined.
It said that Skin Cleansing saw high-single-digit growth with Dove, Lux and Lifebuoy performing well, but volumes declined in a contracting market.
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