Unilever sales hit by emerging markets

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Unilever Reuters.

London - Unilever missed second-quarter sales estimates on Thursday, citing a slowdown in emerging markets and continuing malaise in developed markets.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and Lipton tea said underlying sales - which exclude the impact of foreign exchange, acquisitions and disposals - rose 3.8 percent, compared to analysts' expectations of 4.3 percent.

“Overall there's a slowdown in Asia,” chief financial officer Jean-Marc Huet told Reuters, citing China and Vietnam in particular.

“Russia has been difficult, you can imagine why.”

The global markets in which Unilever operates are now growing at about 2.5 percent, Huet said, down from about 3 percent at the start of the year.

Still, Unilever expects to outperform its markets, he said.

The company continues to expect foreign exchange rates to shave 5 to 6 percentage points of growth from its full-year sales. - Reuters

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