LONDON — Unilever reported Thursday its first-quarter profits declined 43 percent to 803 million euros, or $1.05 billion at average exchange, compared with the year-ago quarter, when profits were bolstered by divested businesses.
Before restructuring, disposals and one-off items, net profits declined 13 percent to 917 million euros, or $1.2 billion. The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant said sales dropped 1 percent to 9.5 billion euros, or $12.4 billion. Underlying revenues were up 4.8 percent in the quarter boosted by price increases, whereas volume was down 1.8 percent. The firm’s personal care business, which includes brands such as Dove and Sunsilk, reported underlying sales growth of 4 percent to 2.807 billion euros, or $3.67 billion.
“First-quarter results were solid given today’s trading environment,” stated Paul Polman, Unilever’s chief executive officer. “We have made good progress implementing plans to reignite volume growth, building on existing strengths and correcting competitive gaps. We will further step up innovation and brand support from the second quarter and expect this to drive an improved volume performance.”
The company, which also manufactures products ranging from Domestos bleach to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, reported operating profits in the quarter were down 32 percent to 1.23 billion euros, or $1.6 billion.
“Lower volumes and the lost profit contribution from disposed businesses reduced operating profit by around 150 million euros [$196.2 million],” said Jim Lawrence, Unilever’s chief financial officer, during a conference call with analysts Thursday. “Price increases boosted operating profit by over 600 million euros [$784.8 million], but costs were higher by around 900 million euros [$1.18 billion].”
By geographical zone and on an underlying basis, sales in Asia, Africa and Central and Eastern Europe grew by 9.5 percent; the Americas saw revenues climb 7.2 percent, while Western Europe reported a decline of 2.8 percent.
While Unilever executives didn’t offer full-year forecasts, Polman said the firm is operating under the assumption that markets will be soft. “Never has consumer behavior changed so rapidly,” he said. “We are clearly seeing a premium placed by consumers on value.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)