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Unilever unveils € 3 billion share buyback plan as global sales increase

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nilever said on Thursday it would repurchase up to € 3 billion of shares after seeing underlying sales growth of 5.7% in the first quarter.

The FTSE 100 company behind brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Dove Soap and Hellmann’s said overall sales in its emerging markets grew 9.4% during the period, “driven by strong double-digit growth in China and India “and offsetting a decline in European sales of 2.3%.

Unilever said the move “reflects our strong cash delivery and balance sheet position.” Jope said bosses are “confident that we will generate underlying sales growth in 2021 within our multi-year framework of 3-5%, with the first half of the year at the high end of that range.”

First-quarter revenue was € 12.3 billion (£ 10.7 billion), down 0.9% from the same period a year earlier, which the company partially attributed to the effects of currency fluctuations.

CFO Graeme Pikethly said Europe’s recovery this summer hinged on the price of outward ice cream sales – and said he didn’t expect price inflation anytime soon.

Unilever also announced that it has created a new ‘Elida Beauty’ brand to host Q-Tips, Caress, Tigi, Timotei, Impulse and MonSavon – which together generated sales of around 0.6 billion euros in 2020. .

It comes after the giant completed a long-awaited unification of its Dutch and British arms and moved its legal base to London in November. The unification means that Unilever can operate as a single London-based entity and should facilitate the acquisition or sale of businesses by the giant.

Shares were up 3%, or 123p, to 4200p on Thursday morning.

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