Unilever has achieved the milestone of hitting €50bn (£42bn) in annual sales for the first time, helped by a boost in advertising and promotional spend.
Unilever today flagged up an increase in advertising and promotional spend, helping it report profits of €4.9bn (£4.1bn) for the full-year while turnover came in at a record €51.3bn (£43.1bn). It did not breakout the jump in advertising and promotional spend.
The Anglo-Dutch company is attempting to double the size of the company from €40bn (£33.6bn) to €80bn (£67bn), while reducing its environmental impact.
Paul Poleman, chief executive of Unilever, said: "These results have been achieved in tough economic conditions, with volatile commodity costs and an intensely competitive environment. We continued to invest behind our brands, again increasing advertising and promotions spend."
Big campaigns in 2012 include those supporting Lynx, Radox, Dove and Flora. It also launched a novel marketing initiative encouraging families to reduce their food bills and household rubbish, which fed findings into Unilever’s future marketing plans.
The financial results also reveal that ice-cream brand Magnum and hair brand Sunsilk have both become €1bn (£0.8bn) brands, meaning that Unilever now has 14 brands in this category.
Over half the company’s turnover is now made from emerging markets, which grew by 11.4%. But its performance in Europe was sluggish, although the UK was pinpointed as performing well.
In the final quarter of the year, Unilever’s personal care division performed strongly, with strong performances from Tresemme and Dove Hair.
Earlier this month, Unilever sold Skippy, its peanut butter brand, for £431m to the US company that makes Spam.
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