LONDON, August 5, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a video interview with financial broadcaster http://www.cantos.com, Unilever CEO Paul Polman outlines the company's position at the half-year. He highlights growth in operating margin and volumes driven by innovation across markets. While the operating environment remains tough in Western Europe and North America, performance in emerging markets is strong and the company has enjoyed "several quarters of above 10% growth" in these areas.
Unilever's diverse and growing range of brands including Knorr Stock Pots and Magnum ice-cream have been rolled out to a growing number of countries.
"We're seeing better innovations and we're seeing them rolled out faster across the world. And we also have the winning spirit back to introduce new brands into new territories," Mr Polman says.
Costs have been a continued focus and EUR700m of savings were realised in the first half, but during the same period the company has ramped up its advertising and promotion spend by 180 basis points.
Polson notes that the overall macro-economic picture remains challenging.
"We continue to plan our business on the basis of a long and slow recovery. I don't think you'll get a double dip, but you'll have a long and slow recovery, mostly in the US and in Europe."
However he predicts that Unilever's continued focus on innovation and exposure to emerging market growth will lead to a performance in the second half that "anybody can be satisfied about".
The interview and transcript are available now on http://www.cantos.com/company/Unilever.
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SOURCE Unilever Plc