Ice Cream Sales Sweet Spot in Unilever Performance

While turnover fell 5.5% to EUR 24.1 billion for Unilever during the first half of 2014, underlying sales growth rose 3.7%, the multinational consumer goods company announced on July 24.

“The first half again shows consistent top and bottom line progress despite significant headwinds. Our markets have been challenging and we have experienced a further show-down in the emerging countries, while developed markets are not yet picking up,” said Paul Polman, chief executive officer.

Magnum minivarietyIce cream brands performed well. Magnum benefited from a strong program of activities including its 25th anniversary, the launch of Magnum Infinity in the United States and Indonesia, and the introduction of Magnum Mini in Brazil.

Ben & Jerry’s sales grew, supported by innovations such as Cores and the introduction of a mini cup format in Japan, while Cornetto benefited from re-launches in North Asia and Europe.

“We continued to grow ahead of our markets driven by strong innovations such as Ben & Jerry’s and Cores,” said Polman.

Ice cream is part of Unilever’s refreshment product group, which generated EUR 4.9 billion in turnover (+5.1% in sales and +3.3% in volume). Receipts in the foods category slipped to EUR 6.1 billion (-0.5% in sales and -0.9% in volume). Personal care products accounted for EUR 8.6 billion of revenues (+4.5% and 2.4%, respectively), while home care products generated EUR 4.5 billion (+6.8% and +3.7%, respectively).