Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever PLC/NV beat growth expectations in 2012, propelled by an increasing presence in emerging markets.
The company is beating its rivals and a dull economic backdrop by focusing its marketing on the personal and home care sectors, which are skewed more to high-growth regions like Latin America and Asia and grew around 10 per cent in 2012.
That performance contrasts with rivals that have been slower to move into fast-growth regions. Unilever’s main household products rival Procter & Gamble is shedding jobs, and French yogurt maker Danone may do the same as the European economic downturn weighs on its business.
Core operating margin grew to 13.8 per cent in 2012, bettering many analyst predictions, as Unilever said it stayed “rigorous” on driving down costs. Raw material cost rises were expected to be between low and single digits in 2013, Huet said.
Sales for the full year were up 10.5 per cent at €51.3-billion ($68.4-billion U.S.), while core earnings per share rose 11 per cent to €1.57, both in line with forecast.
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