By  on October 30, 2008

PARIS - Unilever said it expects to beat its forecast for long-term sales growth of 3 to 5 percent, and improve its underlying operating margins for the year.

Net profits for the consumer products giant jumped 60 percent in the third quarter to reach 1.71 billion euros, or $2.58 billion, thanks to business disposals.

Sales for the quarter rose 2 percent to 10.43 billion euros, or $15.71 billion, but were flat for the nine-month period at 30.37 billion euros, or $46.24 billion. Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the respective periods.

"We have strengthened the business in a tough environment," Unilever’s group chief executive Patrick Cescau stated.

For full results, see Friday’s WWD.

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