Unilever full-year profit up 26%

Unilever says increased investment in advertising and strong sales in emerging markets helped lift its full-year profit by 26%.


Net profit increased to €4.6bn (£3.95bn) for the 12 months to 31 December, compared with €3.7bn (£3.2bn) the previous year. Turnover was €44.2bn (£38bn), an 11% increase on 2009.

Fourth-quarter profit was up 15% to €1.04bn (£0.89bn) on the back of a 5.1% increase in sales.

Unilever’s underlying operating margins also rose for the full-year. The company has pledged to boost margins further by investing in marketing and promotions.

Chief executive Paul Polman says: “We gained volume share in all regions driven by stronger innovations, significant increases in marketing investment and the extension of brands into new territories.”

Unilever recently launched its Comfort laundry conditioner brand in India and rolled out Magnum ice cream in Indonesia.

Profit was also boosted by the company’s €1.4bn (£1.2bn) cost-saving drive. Unilever plans to make a further €1bn (£850.2m) of cost cuts in 2011.

Polman also says Unilever will make selective price increases this year to counter the sharp global rise in commodity costs.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big 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 are your guide.


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

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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