Price rises boost Unilever revenues

Unilever has reported a surge in revenue for the third quarter, with underlying sales up 8.3%. The company says it has been able to push through price rises without hurting sales volumes.

The packaged goods giant, which makes Dove, Persil and Flora, says it has boosted spend on advertising and promoting its brands by £80m over the previous nine months. However, it adds that, as a percentage of sales, spend on advertising was 0.5 percentage points lower than in the first nine months last year and 0.7 percentage points lower than in the third quarter. Unilever says this reflects “strong, price-driven sales growth.”

A combination of price rises and cost saving has pushed up quarterly operating margins by 0.3%. Unilever’s outgoing chief executive Patrick Cescau (pictured) says: “Despite the price rises needed in light of unprecedented cost increases, our volumes are holding up.”

Cescau adds that efficiency programmes, under the One Unilever streamlining initiative, saved £635m in the first nine months. Pre-tax profits for the third quarter rose by 83% to £1.99bn, but this was boosted by profits from disposals including the company’s US laundry businesses. The company says it expects to deliver underlying sales growth “well in excess” of its long-term target for the year.

In September, Unilever named NestlÈ’s Patrick Polman as Cescau’s successor. Polman will formally take over at the end of the year.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here