Unilever warns on sales, shares down

Unilever warns on sales, shares down

Unilever (LON:ULVR) shares crashed on Tuesday after the consumer goods giant issued a sales warning.

The business owns prominent brands such as Dove, Lipton, Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s.

Shares in Unilever were over 5% lower during trading on Tuesday.

The consumer goods giant said that underlying sales growth for 2019 will miss its guidance of 3-5% sales growth.

Earnings, margin and cash are not expected to be impacted, Unilever said.

The business said that the slowdown in sales was driven by challenges in the quarter in some markets, including the economic slowdown in South Asia, which is one of Unilever’s largest markets.

Meanwhile, the trading conditions in West Africa remained difficult, the business added.

“The trading environment in developed markets continues to be challenging and while there are early signs of improving performance in North America, a full recovery there will take time,” Unilever said in a statement.

The business said that it also expects to miss its sales growth aim in the first half of next year.

Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, commented on the announcement: “Due to challenges in certain markets, we expect a slight miss to our full year underlying sales growth delivery.”

“Looking ahead to 2020, growth will be second-half weighted,” the Chief Executive Officer continued.

“While we expect improvement in H1 2020 versus this quarter, we expect that first half growth will be below 3%. Our full year underlying sales growth is expected to be in the lower half of the multi-year range.”

The Chief Executive Officer said: “Growth remains our top priority and we are confident we have the right strategy and investment in place to step up our performance.”

Last month, the business announced the appointment of a new Chairman.

It said in October that third quarter growth continued to soften in India, whilst slowing down in China.

Shares in Unilever plc (LON:ULVR) were down on Tuesday, trading at -5.73% as of 12:27 GMT.