Unilever’s 2023 Full-Year Financial Overview

Producer News


Unilever revealed its full-year results for 2023 on February 8, showcasing signs of financial recovery with increases in volume growth and margins. The company reported a 7.0% rise in underlying sales growth, a slight 0.2% increase in volume growth, and an improved underlying operating margin, now at 16.7%. Particularly noteworthy was the 8.6% sales growth among Unilever’s 30 Power Brands.

Beauty & Wellbeing Performance

The Beauty & Wellbeing sector experienced a significant uplift, posting an 8.3% rise in underlying sales, representing 21% of Unilever’s total turnover. This growth is attributed to the successful execution of three strategic priorities: enhancing core Hair Care and Skin Care brands, expanding the Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing categories, and reinforcing beauty and wellbeing capabilities. Notable achievements include robust sales in Hair Care and Health & Wellbeing, with the latter witnessing a strong 6.3% volume increase in Q4.

Personal Care Achievements

Personal Care emerged as another strong performer, with an 8.9% jump in sales, accounting for 23% of the group’s turnover. The sector benefited from balanced price and volume growth, driven by innovations in Deodorants, Skin Cleansing, and Oral Care. The category saw substantial growth thanks to strategic marketing investments and new product launches, including the introduction of Dove Men+Care 72-hour deodorant.

Home Care Developments

The Home Care division reported a 5.9% increase in underlying sales, making up 21% of total turnover. Despite a slight decline in volume, the sector managed to improve through strategic price adjustments and a focus on sustainability and product superiority. Notable contributions came from Fabric Cleaning and Home & Hygiene segments, with new launches such as Domestos Power Foam boosting market penetration.

Nutrition Sector Insights

Unilever’s Nutrition business grew by 7.7%, contributing 22% to the group’s turnover. The growth was primarily price-driven, addressing rising food ingredient costs. However, volume improvements were noted in the fourth quarter, especially in the Hellmann’s and Knorr brands, which represent a significant portion of the Nutrition portfolio. Efforts in this sector focused on superior product offerings and impactful marketing campaigns.

Ice Cream Business Challenges

The Ice Cream segment saw a more modest growth of 2.3%, accounting for 13% of Unilever’s turnover. The sector faced challenges such as high price sensitivity and less favorable weather conditions, leading to a volume decrease. Despite these obstacles, Unilever continued to invest in its leading brands, Magnum and Cornetto, to maintain consumer interest in premium ice cream offerings.

Strategic Growth Action Plan

CEO Hein Schumacher provided an update on Unilever’s Growth Action Plan, emphasizing the company’s commitment to higher-quality growth, increased productivity, and a focused performance orientation. The plan, which aims to transform Unilever into a more competitive entity, has seen rapid implementation under the new leadership team.

In conclusion, Unilever’s full-year results for 2023 reflect a company on the mend, with strategic initiatives and brand innovations contributing to overall growth across its diverse portfolio.

Related: Unilever’s Leap into the Digital Age