Unilever's revenues slip in price war
Consumer goods giant Unilever, whose brands include Flora spread and Magnum ice cream, has reported lower revenues for 2014 after a slowdown in emerging markets and a fierce price war in Europe.
A weaker than expected performance in the final three months of the year, when Unilever experienced a 0.4% drop in sales volumes, disappointed City investors as shares fell by more than 2%.
Chief executive Paul Polman admitted it had been a challenging year for the industry, adding that the company was not expecting a significant improvement in market conditions this year.
He said: "Against this background, we expect our full year performance to be similar to 2014 with the first quarter being softer but growth improving during the year. We remain focused on competitive, profitable, consistent and responsible growth."
Turnover declined 2.7% to €48.4bn (£37bn) last year, although when currency movements are excluded the figure for sales growth was 2.9% higher. Operating profits were up 6% at €8bn (£6.1bn).