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April 26, 2012 3:00 AM ET
Jean-Marc Huët – CFO
James Allison – Head, IR
Celine Pannuti – JP Morgan
Michael Steib – Morgan Stanley
Harold Thompson – Deutsche Bank
Marco Gulpers – ING Bank
Martin Deboo – Investec
David Hayes – Nomura
Jeremy Fialko – Redburn Partners
Robert Waldschmidt – Merrill Lynch
Good morning, everybody and welcome to Unilever’s First Quarterly Presentation of 2012. For those of you who participated in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan Update earlier this week, thanks a lot for giving us two slots in your busy diary.
I’ll come back to the importance of our Sustainable Living Plan later in the call. You’ll also have noticed the improvements in disclosure, which we have implemented this quarter, very much in line with what we promised and I hope that this is being helpful to you.
I will begin this morning by reviewing our overall performance in the first quarter and the category highlights. James will then review our geographical performance and report on the progress we have made in integrating our important acquisitions. I’ll then conclude with some thoughts on the outlook for the year. So let’s get going.
First of all, I draw your attention to the usual disclaimer relating to forward-looking statements and non-GAAP measures. Okay, good performance in a challenging environment. Underlying sales growth was 8.4% in Q1, broad based with a good balance between volume and price. Our sales are up in developed and emerging markets, and we grew in all categories with positive volumes in each.