Unilever Q4, Full-year 2021 Results

The underlying operating profit increased 2.9% to €9.6 billion from the previous year.
The underlying operating profit increased 2.9% to €9.6 billion from the previous year.

Unilever has released its full-year 2021 results that showed the underlying operating profit increased 2.9% to €9.6 billion from the previous year. 

Underlying earnings per share increased 5.5%. 

Underlying sales growth increased 4.5%, the fastest in nine years. 

Q4 Results

Underlying sales growth increased 4.9%.

Beauty & Personal Care

The beauty and personal care category reported underlying sales growth increased 6.2% for the fourth quarter, totaling 5.8 billion euros. The underlying sales growth for the full year 2021 increased 3.8%, totaling 21.9 billion euros.

Skin care grew high single-digits with channels reopening in 2021.    

Hair care grew mid-single-digits with Sunsilk, Dove and Clear contributing and styling in North America being restored to competitive growth. 

Prestige beauty grew double-digit with all brands benefitting from e-commerce and a recovery in beauty channels compared to the previous year.

2022 Outlook

The underlying sales growth is projected to be between 4.5% and 6.5%. 

Alan Jope, CEO, said:

The acceleration of Unilever’s operating performance continues. We delivered our fastest underlying sales growth for nine years4.5% for the full year, with 1.6% from volume. Our 13 billion-Euro brands grew 6.4%. Priority markets of China, India, and the US grew at 14.3%, 13.4%, and 3.7% respectively. Our growth in e-commerce was 44%, ahead of global channel growth and bringing e-commerce to 13% of turnover. We have continued to re-shape our portfolio into high growth spaces, acquiring in prestige beauty and functional nutrition, and agreeing the sale of our tea business. The major challenge of 2021 has been the dramatic rise of input costs. We responded with pricing actions, delivering underlying price growth of 2.9% for the year, accelerating to 4.9% in the fourth quarter, with full year underlying operating margin down 10bps and underlying earnings per share up 5.5%. We are focused on driving faster growth from our strong portfolio of brands and markets, and recently announced a major change to create a simpler, more category-focused organization designed to further improve performance. In 2022, we will manage a significant input cost inflation cycle and will continue to invest competitively in marketing, R&D and capital expenditure. We have engaged extensively with our shareholders in recent weeks and received a strong message that the evolution of our portfolio needs to be measured. We therefore do not intend to pursue major acquisitions in the foreseeable future and will conduct a share buyback program of up to €3 billion over the next two years.”     

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