Turnover for Q3 fell 1.3% to €5.98bn (£5.43bn) from €6.06bn (£5.49bn) the previous year which the company attributed to the “changing consumer and channel dynamics” that have come about as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Beauty and personal care showed underlying sales growth of 3.8%, with 3.5% from volume and 0.4% from price in Q3, according to its latest trading update.
The firm said demand for hand hygiene products “remained high” although it conceded it was “slightly below levels seen in the second quarter”. Skin cleansing products performed particularly well delivering underlying sales growth of 19.9% in Q3.
Online channels continued to grow, with Unilever adding that its e-commerce business grew 76%.
Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, said: “We have delivered a strong performance this quarter. Volume-led growth shows the resilience of our portfolio and our agility in responding to rapidly changing dynamics across consumer segments, geographies and channels.
“The environment we are operating in will remain unpredictable in the near term, so we will continue to maintain the speed and agility of our response. Our focus remains volume-led competitive growth, delivering absolute profit and free cash flow.”