Ice cream boosts profits at Unilever
Unilever, owner of the HB ice cream brand, has recorded a first quarter turnover of €13.3bn, a 6.1% rise on the same period last year.
Underlying sales growth for the company was also at 2.9%, with product prices rising 3% and sales volumes down a slight 0.1%.
With underlying sales in emerging markets recording a solid 6.1% growth, Unilever chief executive Paul Polman said the results “keep us on track for another year of underlying sales growth”.
Figures published by the consumer brands giant show underlying sales within its food and refreshment sector are up 2.2% for the first quarter and a turnover of €5.5bn, which accounts for just over 40% of its total turnover.
Underlying sales in refreshment products grew 5.4%, backed by a strong performance from its ice cream brands. The Ben & Jerry’s brand grew at double-digit rates, while Magnum and Cornetto, both of which are sold under Unilever’s Irish brand HB, also did well.
In the food category, underlying sales grew by 1.7%, excluding spreads which declined by 5.1% as a result of market contraction. Knorr, the company’s largest savoury food brand, displayed a good performance, while dressing’s brand Hellmann’s also gained market share.