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    Unilever PLC Reports Strong Performance, Predicts Growth in 2023


    Unilever PLC (LSE:ULVR) reported underlying sales growth of 9% for 2022, higher than the 8.2% increase that analysts had expected. The strong performance was attributed to disciplined pricing action in response to high input cost inflation in the middle of challenging economic conditions.[0] Furthermore, underlying price growth will remain high in the first half of 2023, with volume growth expected to be negative.[1] Unilever predicts 2023 underlying sales growth to be at least in the upper half of its multi-year range of 3 – 5%.

    Beauty & Wellbeing grew underlying sales by 7.8%, driven by price.[2] Volume levels showed a slight increase, due in part to another successful year of growth in Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing categories, resulting in over €2.5 billion in revenue.[3] The underlying sales for Personal Care rose 7.9%, which was driven by strong pricing.[3] Deodorant sales increased, whereas other categories saw a decrease.[3] Home Care, being especially vulnerable to increasing input expenses, saw the most significant price increase and a slight decrease in volume, resulting in underlying sales increasing by 11.8%.[3]

    Unilever has systematically raised prices for eight consecutive quarters, taking the full-year underlying price growth to 11.3%.[4] However, in order to protect consumers, Unilever has chosen not to fully offset the cost of inflation through pricing. This has resulted in a turnover increase of 14.5% to €60.1 billion, with 6.2% attributed to currency and (1.0)% from disposals net of acquisitions.[5]

    Unilever also announced that they will deliver only a modest improvement in underlying operating margin in the full year as they plan for another year of increased investment.[6] Given the continued high cost inflation, the underlying operating margin is anticipated to be roughly 16 percent during the initial half of the period.[7]

    Outgoing CEO Alan Jope is set to be replaced by Hein Schumacher in July, who will be leading Unilever’s simpler, more category-focused operating model for Unilever, which is expected to generate around €600 million of cost savings over the first two years after 1 July 2022.[8]

    Brand and marketing investment was stepped up by €0.5 billion in constant exchange rates, which equated to a 10bps contribution to the margin in current exchange rates.[3]

    0. “Higher prices help boost sales at Unilever” ShareCast, 9 Feb. 2023,–12266666.html

    1. “Cost of living: Consumer goods giant Unilever expects price growth throughout 2023” Sky News, 9 Feb. 2023,

    2. “Unilever's record price hikes bolster 2022 results” Cosmetics Business, 9 Feb. 2023,

    3. “Unilever posts strong sales growth and continued progress against strategy” Asia Food Journal, 9 Feb. 2023,

    4. “Unilever Upped Marketing Spend By €500m In 2022 To Justify Price Hikes” The Drum, 9 Feb. 2023,

    5. “Unilever Q4 sales narrowly miss estimates amid inflation pressures By” Canada, 9 Feb. 2023,

    6. “Marmite and Dove maker Unilever warns of more price rises this year” Business MattersBusiness Matters, 9 Feb. 2023,

    7. “Unilever warns price hikes not yet past their peak” The Independent, 9 Feb. 2023,

    8. “Earnings: why Unilever shares just keep on going” Motley Fool UK, 9 Feb. 2023,

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