By Anthony Shevlin
Unilever PLC (ULVR.LN) said Thursday that first-quarter revenue fell, driven by the disposal of its spreads business, but the company is on track for its full-year targets.
Unilever, owner of the Hellmann's mayonnaise, Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream brands, said revenue for the quarter was 12.4 billion euros ($14.01 billion), compared with EUR12.6 billion the previous year.
Underlying sales, which strip out the impact of foreign-exchange movements, grew 3.1%. Underlying sales in emerging markets rose 5%.
The Anglo-Dutch company said it expects underlying sales growth to be in the lower half of its 3% to 5% multiyear guidance range. However, it continues to expect an improvement in underlying operating margin as well as strong free cash flow.
The company raised its quarterly dividend by 6% to EUR0.4104 per share, it said.
Alan Jope, chief executive of Unilever, said: "We have delivered a solid start that keeps ups on track for our full-year expectations. Growth was led by emerging markets and was balanced between volume and price."
Write to Anthony Shevlin at email@example.com; @anthony_shevlin