LONDON Oct 13 Price increases helped Unilever
report a smaller-than-expected slowdown in
third-quarter sales on Thursday.
The maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Dove soap reported
underlying sales growth of 3.2 percent for the latest three
months. Analysts on average expected growth of 2.9 percent,
according to a company-supplied consensus, a slowdown from 4.7
percent in the first half of the year.
The company in July said it was expecting full-year sales to
grow 3-5 percent, with margins improving in the historical range
of 0.3-0.4 percentage points, rather than the 0.5 points it
delivered in the first half.
It had flagged a worsening of performance, due to tougher
comparisons with an unusually strong third quarter last year and
deterioration of economic conditions in markets such as Brazil
(Reporting by Martinne Geller in London; Editing by Alexander