Unilever stock falls despite 51% profit rise

Despite announcing a 51% rise in net profit in the fourth quarter on Thursday, the share price of food-to-detergents group Unilever fell around 6% on the Amsterdam stock market in early trading

Net profit in the last three months of 2008 reached €1.2bn, but this was largely due to higher prices for its products. In terms of volumes, sales fell by 1.6% in the last quarter, said Unilever in its statement.
Full-year turnover was 1% higher at €40.5bn while net profit was up 28% at €5.3bn, the company said.
‘Given the current economic uncertainty I believe it would be inappropriate at this stage to provide an outlook specifically for 2009 or to reaffirm the 2010 targets,’ said Unilever CEO Paul Polman:
‘That said, I am confident in the underlying strength of the business and over the longer term expect that we will deliver very competitive levels of growth and margin improvement.’
Click here to read Unilever’s full financial statement

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