Unilever, manufacturer of the Wall’s, Dove and Knorr brands, says it is unable to provide a financial outlook for this year given economic uncertainty despite posting a 7.3% increase in fourth quarter sales.
The Anglo-Dutch company, which also reported a 51% increase in net profit to €1.2 bn (£1.01bn) for the three months to 31 December, adds it is “inappropriate” to set targets for this year or reaffirm 2010 targets due to the global economic situation.
Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever, says despite the uncertainty he is “confident in the underlying strength of the business and over the longer term expect that we will deliver very competitive levels of growth and margin improvement.”
For the full-year, Unilever registered a 28% increase in net profit to €5.3bn (£4.7 bn) against a 7.4% increase in underlying sales.
Last November, the company’s chief marketing officer said the company was not planning to reduce marketing spend in Europe and would continue to focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly practices despite the economic downturn.
The company appointed Lowe London to handle the £100m global advertising business for Knorr in December.