Le Grand Bleu, speaking from its modernist cliff-top lair above Juan Les Pins, announced that revenue rose 10.3% to 13.36 billion euros for the third quarter of the FY it amuses us to call 13. This just north of the predictions of analysts, and buoyed ever so slightly – to the tune of 4.1% – by a favourable exchange rate. More notable was the performance, once again, of its emerging markets, particularly China, where a new urbanised generation of hygiene-obsessed scrubbers of domestic surfaces can apparently not get enough of either Dove or Cif – this as the Chinese economy begins to slow, and rival Nestlé reports weaker sales there. Russia is also doing rather well under challenging conditions, and across the emerging markets, which account for 55% of sales, growth exceeded 12%.
Comment: Those emerging markets, which Unilever targeted very strategically some years ago, have proven an excellent bet.