Colman's Mustard owner Unilever says bad weather in the US and Europe hit third quarter sales

PUBLISHED: 08:52 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:52 19 October 2017

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever.

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

Third quarter sales were hit at consumer goods giant Unilever by hurricanes in the US and poor weather in Europe.

The Anglo-Dutch group behind Colman’s Mustard, Marmite and Dove, posted a 2.6% increase in underlying sales for the period to 13.2bn euro (£11.8bn) – below expectations and down from 3% in the first half of the year.

Chief executive Paul Polman said growth was “adversely affected” by poor weather in Europe and natural disasters in the Americas.

However, he pointed to “signs of improvement” in some of Unilever’s biggest emerging markets, including India and China.

Its emerging markets division booked a 6.3% increase in underlying sales over the quarter, which compares to a 2.3% fall in developed markets.

Unilever held its underlying annual sales growth forecast at within the 3% to 5% range.

Last month Unilever announced it was reviewing its operations in Norwich after Britvic – which co-owns the site on Bracondale – announced it was planning to leave the city.

The group, which employs 169,000 people worldwide, announced in April that it would offload some of its best-known brands – including Flora and Stork – after fending off a $143bn (£115bn) takeover attempt from Kraft Heinz.

It plans to sell its underperforming spreads business, which could yield up to £6bn.

Earlier this year, Unilever also struck a 2.27bn euro (£1.9bn) deal to buy South Korean cosmetics firm Carver Korea.

It bought the business from Bain Capital Private Equity, Goldman Sachs and the firm’s founder, strengthening its foothold in the Asian beauty market.

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