First-half net profit up 13 percent at Unilever, company says it needs to innovate, cut costs

  • Updated: July 25, 2013 - 2:16 AM

AMSTERDAM — Unilever PLC, the maker of products including Lipton tea, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and Axe deodorants, says its first-half net profit for 2013 rose 13 percent compared with the same period last year to 2.7 billion euros ($3.58 billion), despite tough market conditions.

First-half sales edged up 0.4 percent to 25.5 billion euros, led by its emerging markets, although the company said those markets are also slowing "as macroeconomic headwinds influence consumer behavior."

CEO Paul Polman says the results show "that the transformation of Unilever to a sustainable growth company is fully on track."

However, he added that the "tougher economic environment and reinvigorated competition" meant the company has to continue to increase investment while cutting costs.

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