LONDON – The reopening of make-up and sweetness shops as lockdowns eased helped to bolster Unilever’s total gross sales within the first half of the yr, with skincare and status magnificence each rising within the double digits through the six months to June 30.
Unilever stated in a primary half replace on Thursday that gross sales had been up 5.4 p.c on an underlying foundation to 25.8 billion euros. On a reported foundation, they had been broadly flat, edging up 0.3 p.c, dented largely by foreign money fluctuations.
Underlying gross sales within the second quarter had been up 5 p.c to 13.5 billion euros, and rose 1.2 p.c on a reported foundation.
Net revenue within the first half declined 4.1 p.c to three.39 billion kilos, which the corporate stated was resulting from funding and enter value inflation resulting from a rise in uncooked materials, packaging and distribution prices globally.
Shares in Unilever had been down 4.4 p.c to 41.14 kilos in mid-morning buying and selling on Thursday.
Chief govt officer Alan Jope described the primary half efficiency as “strong,” with the underlying gross sales development of 5.4 p.c “driven by our continued focus on operational excellence.”
He stated the corporate was making “good progress” towards the strategic selections it outlined earlier this yr, together with the event of its portfolio into high-growth areas, akin to status magnificence.
He added that gross sales of status magnificence and practical vitamin merchandise grew strongly, and added that the spinoff of Unilever’s tea enterprise is “substantially complete.”
Unilever has stated it’ll half methods with the tea enterprise by way of an preliminary public providing, sale or partnership.
Jope added that Unilever was nonetheless exploring its choices for the brand new Elida Beauty group. Earlier this yr, Unilever had bundled collectively non-strategic private care manufacturers together with Q-Tips, Caress, Tigi, Timotei, Impulse and Monsavon, and is seeking to “maximize value creation” of the group, which had mixed revenues of round 600 million euros in 2020.
Unilever’s ecommerce enterprise grew 50 p.c within the first six months of the yr, and the channel now represents 11 p.c of gross sales, the corporate stated.
Competitive development stays Unilever’s precedence, and the corporate stated it’s assured it may possibly ship underlying gross sales development in 2021 “well within” its multi-year framework of three p.c to five p.c, and regardless of troublesome comparisons within the second half of the yr.
Unilever will probably be benchmarking second-half development towards a surge in gross sales in some divisions from COVID-19 restrictions final yr.
The firm added that the working atmosphere throughout its markets stays “volatile,” with restrictions on each day life persevering with world wide, “impacting channel dynamics, sales mix and consumer behavior.”
In the Beauty and Personal Care division, underlying gross sales grew 3.3 p.c to 10.4 billion euros within the first half, with an acceleration to 4.2 p.c development within the second quarter. Unilever stated the acceleration got here from a rise in private care consumption “as living restrictions were eased in some of our markets.”
In the half, skincare grew within the double digits and deodorants returned to development, as individuals started returning to work and socializing. In skincare, the Vaseline and Ponds manufacturers every noticed double-digit development.
Skin cleaning declined as the corporate confronted powerful comparisons with final yr, when it witnessed a pointy improve in demand as a result of onset of COVID-19. Unilever famous that the premium model Shea Moisture grew within the double digits within the U.S. within the first half.
The status magnificence manufacturers grew within the double digits, resulting from larger in-store footfall. As reported in June, Unilever acquired the digital-led skincare model Paula’s Choice, calling it a pioneer in jargon-free science, excessive performing elements, and cruelty-free merchandise.