Magnum Ice cream company has got it licked
Consumer products giant Unilever said this summer's dismal European weather failed to dampen sales at its Magnum ice cream business.
The ice cream and Lipton beverages division posted a 6.1% jump in sales in the quarter to September 30, the strongest of Unilever's four divisions.
It said the launch of Magnum Gold in 29 countries helped trading, while there was an improved market share in the United States due to the performance of Klondike, Ben & Jerry's and new product launches.
"Strong ice cream growth was very encouraging, especially given the unfavourable summer weather in Europe," Unilever added.
Across the business, Unilever posted sales growth of 3.6% after a stronger-than-expected rise in volumes of 4.8% offset a 1.2% drop in prices.
The company's personal care division also performed well with sales growth of 4.5% in the quarter, helped by strong sales in the deodorants category following the launch of Dove Men+Care in Europe.
Despite rising commodity prices, Unilever said it had cut prices in those areas where it needed to stay competitive. Overall, it said it expected some underlying growth in prices towards the end of the year.
Unilever said the third quarter saw solid progress, particularly given slow economic growth, weak consumer confidence and higher commodity costs.
It added: "Whilst market growth continues to be sluggish in the developed economies, the emerging markets continue to grow strongly, albeit more slowly than the levels seen earlier in the year."