NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Unilever (UN) stock is gaining 3.65% to $41.74 on heavy volume in afternoon trading on Tuesday after announcing its 2015 financial results before the market open.

The maker of Magnum ice cream, Dove soap and Axe deodorant posted a net profit of 4.91 billion euros for 2015, down from 5.17 billion euros in 2014. Core operating profit was up 12% to 7.9 billion euros.

Revenue advanced by 10% to 53.3 billion euros during 2015.

Underlying sales growth was 4.1%, compared to 2.9% for the year-ago period.

Sales within the company's Baking, Cooking and Spreads unit "continued to decline," and the division's CEO Sean Gogarty has stepped down, the Wall Street Journal reports. His departure is fueling speculation that Unilever might sell its spread unit, which is valued at 7 billion euros. 

"Despite a challenging year with slower global economic growth, intensifying geopolitical instability, and high currency and commodity volatility we have again grown ahead of our markets, driven by our innovations and increased support behind our brands," CEO Paul Polman said in a statement.

About 3.48 million shares of Unilever have been traded so far today, well above the company's average trading volume of 2.14 million shares per day.

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