Unilever sales fall 2% in third quarter, poor European summer blamed

Anglo-Dutch food to detergent group Unilever saw sales fall 2% to €12.2bn in the third quarter of this year, as the poor European summer had a impact on ice cream sales.

The company said unfavourable interest rates and weaker markets, particularly China, were to blame for the continued downturn. Sales were already down 5.5% at €24bn in the first half, the trading statement said.

‘We expect markets to remain tough for at least the remainder of the year,’ chief executive Paul Polman said. ‘We have further accelerated our initiatives to remove unnecessary cost, simplify the business and ensure that Unilever is both agile and resilient.’

Analysts described the results as disappointing and Unilever shares fell 3% in early trading in Amsterdam.

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