Todays results from Unilever, a long established giant of a company, show not a sign of corporate sclerosis, despite its advancing years. In fact all the signs are that it remains young at heart and fleet of foot.
It also claims and here it must be unique for any company over at least the last 5 or 6 years, that it has actually benefited from currency movements and done so to the tune of a 5.9%.uplift to turnover. No whingeing from the boardroom about how the company has been “impacted” by adverse currency movements. In fact Unilever makes it clear in almost every sentence that it is the company and its management which is making the impact and that it is doing so despite challenging trading conditions.
2015 saw turnover rise by 10% with underlying sales growth of 4.1%, including volume growth of 2% and price increases of 1.9%. emerging markets led the way on the growth front with turnover up by 7.1%, volume by 2.7% and prices by 4.3%.
Core operating profit rose by 12% and core earnings per share by 14%. Even excluding the benefits of currency movements, earnings per share were still up by 11%.
Unilever’s CEO describes the company as being resilient, having grown ahead of its markets and overcome high currency and commodity volatility, as well as slower global growth and it is prepared for 2016 to be an even worse year.
From food to personal care and from home care to ice cream, 2015 was a year which saw good growth on all fronts.
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