Unilever has announced that its underlying sales growth (USG) represented a 5.7% year-on-year rise for the first quarter of FY21.
However, turnover for the first quarter of FY21 was £10.7bn, a 0.9% year-on-year decrease due to a negative currency related impact of 8%.
The spike in sales was underpinned by a 9.8% rise in USG to £3.5bn for the company’s foods and refreshment arm.
Unilever’s beauty and personal care division saw a 2.3% climb in USG and £4.34bn turnover for the period, while its home care department’s USG grew 5.9% year-on-year with £2.26bn turnover.
Alan Jope, CEO at the group, said: “Our focus on operational excellence, innovation,and purposeful brands is continuing to strengthen competitiveness and has delivered underlying sales growth of 5.7% for the quarter.
“We expect to increase underlying operating margin slightly for the full year, though with a decline in the first half driven by Covid-19 impacts, higher cost inflation and increased marketing spend over the prior year.”
The firm also revealed that its board of directors has approved a share buyback programme of up to £2.6bn.
Jope added: “We are committed to delivering superior long-term financial performance through our sustainable business model, which we believe has never been more relevant than it is today.”