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Unilever sales cooled by slowdowns for ice cream and emerging markets

By Philip Smith

Growth of 2.9 per cent misses analysts’ expectations after demand softens in India and China

Unilever sales grew by 2.9 per cent in the past three months. But the Anglo-Dutch consumer giant just missed the 3 per cent figure analysts had expected after a slowdown in key international markets and weaker growth in ice cream.

The business, whose household brands include Marmite and Dove soap, said that the lower-than-expected sales were mainly down to softer demand in China and India.

Emerging markets are a major focus for Unilever. They contribute 60 per cent to the overall sales, but grew by 5.1 per cent in the third quarter, short of 7.4 per cent figure from the previous three months.

Growth slowed in two of Unilever’s biggest markets, India and China. Trade wars are hitting domestic consumption in China, with monsoons curbing rural spending in India, reported Reuters.

The global conglomerate also said ice cream sales – its brands include Ben and Jerry’s – also failed to match strong performance in 2018 thanks to a cooler summer this year in Europe, reported UK Investor.

Unilever shares were up during early trading before steadying.

Unilever PLC ADR - USD
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