LONDON: Unilever today reported higher revenue in the first quarter as high inflation pushed the British consumer goods giant to hike prices.
The maker of products ranging from Magnum ice cream and Cif surface cleaner to Dove soap, said revenue increased seven percent to €14.8 billion (US$16.4 billion) compared with the first three months of 2022.
Unilever, like companies worldwide, is passing on higher costs to customers as inflation stays stubbornly elevated.
Rising revenue at Unilever in the first quarter was “driven by price growth in response to continued high input cost inflation and an improved volume performance”, outgoing chief executive Alan Jope said in the earnings statement.
“We remain focused on navigating through continued macroeconomic uncertainty and are confident in our ability to deliver another year of strong growth, which remains our first priority,” he added.
Unilever earlier this year announced that Hein Schumacher, head of Dutch dairy and nutrition firm Royal FrieslandCampina, would succeed Jope in July.
Scotland-born Jope will depart Unilever after coming under fierce pressure from activist investors.
Jope oversaw Unilever’s failed US$50-billion bid at the start of 2022 for the former healthcare unit of drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline.
In response, Jope slashed around 1,500 management jobs in a global restructure widely seen as a bid to appease unhappy investors.
He also offloaded its global tea business, including brands Lipton and PG Tips, and bought a majority stake in hair wellness company Nutrafol.
“We continue to shift our portfolio into higher growth spaces, with the delivery of another quarter of double-digit sales growth” in Unilever units Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing, Jope added today.