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Unilever sales rise thanks to growth across beauty and wellbeing

Sophie Smith
26 April 2024

Unilever has reported an increase in sales for the first quarter of 2024, with all five business groups reporting growth, led by the beauty and wellbeing division.

The owner of Dermalogica, TRESemmé and Paula's Choice saw sales rise by 4.4%, with balanced volume and price growth.

Its "power brands", which include Dove and Sunsilk, among others, continued to perform strongly during the quarter, with 6.1% underlying sales growth, reflecting 75% of turnover.

Growth was also led by Unilever's beauty and wellbeing division, with sales up by 7.4%, driven by continued double-digit growth across health and wellbeing and prestige beauty.

Both haircare and skincare delivered mid-single digit growth, with haircare boosted by Dove, Clear, Sunsilk, and TRESemmé and skincare largely driven by Vaseline and Pond.

Prestige beauty grew double-digits, led by Tatcha, Hourglass and Living Proof. Meanwhile, personal care saw sales rise by 4.8%, helped by deodorants and oral care.

Emerging markets grew underlying sales 5.4%, while underlying sales in developed markets increased by 3%.

In Europe, sales growth was 4%, driven by price. North America delivered growth of 3.6%, with positive volume growth boosted by health and wellbeing and prestige beauty.

Looking ahead, Unilever said its guidance for 2024 remains unchanged. It expects sales growth between 3-5%, with an increasing contribution from volume growth.

Hein Schumacher, CEO of Unilever, said: "Unilever delivered improved volume growth in the first quarter. This was driven by our Power Brands which saw underlying sales growth of 6.1%, with strong performances from Dove, Knorr, Rexona and Sunsilk.

"We are implementing the Growth Action Plan at speed, focused on three clear priorities: delivering higher-quality growth, creating a simpler and more productive business, and embedding a strong performance focus. This is underpinned by our commitment to do fewer things, better and with greater impact.

"Unilever’s transformation is at an early stage, but we have increasing confidence in our ability to deliver sustained volume growth and positive mix as we accelerate gross margin expansion."

Last month, the group announced its plans to cut around 7,500 jobs globally as part of an overhaul aimed at saving around €800 million (£684 million) over the next three years.

It said the roles affected are largely office-based and the move comes as the British multinational company looks to invest in technology to boost productivity and save money.

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