Emerging markets and personal care push pays off for Unilever

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Personal care, Investment, United states, Unilever

Unilever CEO Paul Polman
Unilever CEO Paul Polman
A strong performance in personal care and increased exposure to the emerging markets has aided consumer giant Unilever as it announces its second quarter results.

Whilst key competitor Procter & Gamble announced cautious results amidst a turnaround plan that have analysts wary, the Dove skin care maker has produced steady results.

Unilever reported that sales increased 5.8 per cent for the second quarter, with much of this put down to presence in emerging markets such as India and Russia, whilst it has avoided exposure to weaker economies in Southern Europe and Spain.

Emerging market success

Emerging markets, which accounts for over half of sales, grew 11 per cent for the period: much of this down to strong performances from personal care brands.

The first half saw the completion of the acquisition of Concern Kalina, Russia’s leading local personal care business, whilst the Tresemmé hair care brand made strong progress in Brazil.

There were also investments in developed markets, with successful launches of the Clear brand in the United States and Axe Hair in Europe.

Hair care was a major player for Unilever in the second quarter, as the Dove and Clear lines helped the Personal Care segment sales increase 10.4 per cent.

It must have been Dove…

The continuing success of Dove Damage Therapy, and Clear, benefiting from the continuing success of its relaunch as a premium scalp expert was the catalyst for the segment’s double-digit growth.

Skin cleansing also delivered strong growth with Dove once more, Lux and Lifebuoy all performing well. Dove benefited from the continuing success of Nutrium Moisture shower gels and the Dove Men+Care range, which was recently extended to Brazil.

Dove bars were launched in Indonesia and Lifebuoy Clini-Care 10 has made a solid start in India. In skin care, the launch of Simple in the United States is making good progress and Vaseline maintained strong momentum, underpinned by the success of the Total Moisture range.

Deodorants growth reflected a good performance from Dove on the back of successful innovations and consistent advertising and a good performance from Axe Anarchy.

Positive outlook on difficult times

“Despite deteriorating global economic conditions and a competitive environment which remains intense, we again delivered volume growth ahead of our markets and gained value share across the majority of our business,”​ comments CEO Paul Polman.

“Our performance reflects continued investment in innovation, brand-building and people, whilst keeping discipline on both costs and execution.”

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