said first-quarter profit rose 31% to 1.06 billion euros ($1.4 billion) as sales rose 6.7%.
Unilever, the maker of household products such as Lipton tea and Dove soap, said underlying volume growth was 7.6%. Its operating margin rose 60 basis points, driven by improved gross margins and lower overhead costs, the company said.
Sales in the first quarter were 10.14 billion euros vs. 9.5 billion euros last year.
"We show strong momentum across all geographies with continued strengthening of our competitive position in line with our strategy," said CEO Paul Polman, in a statement Thursday. Growth was supported by the quickening pace of innovation and the introduction of brands such as Cif, Domestos, Lifebuoy and Lipton into new markets. "
Polman also said growth was strong in emerging markets despite the "heightened competitive activity."
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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