Unilever reveals profit margin hit amid rising commodity prices

Unilever reveals profit margin hit amid rising commodity prices
Unilever now expects underlying operating profit margins to be around flat for 2021.

Consumer goods giant Unilever has cut its profit margin outlook as it became the latest firm to warn over the impact of rising global commodity prices.

The Marmite-to-Dove soap firm said it had seen cost inflation emerge through its second quarter, which is seeing it hike prices for a number of products in some regions.

Unilever now expects underlying operating profit margins to be around flat for 2021, having previously forecast a slight increase.

It comes as global supply chains are being strained by surging demand and logistics woes amid the pandemic, which is driving up prices for many products, from ingredients to building materials.

But aside from the margin pressures, Unilever revealed a better-than-expected 5.4% rise in half-year sales and ahead of its target for for 3% to 5% growth.

Alan Jope, chief executive of Unilever, said: “Unilever has delivered a strong first half, with underlying sales growth of 5.4% driven by our continued focus on operational excellence.”

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