Unilever first half profits soar 22.4 per cent

The Hague: Food and consumer products giant Unilever said on Thursday profits soared in the first half of 2017, raking in 3.3 billion euros after the Anglo-Dutch firm spurned a takeover bid by US rival Kraft Heinz. The 22.4 per cent hike in the first six months compared to the same period last year showed “a substantial step-up in profitability despite the persisting volatile global trading environment,” chief executive Paul Polman said. “The transformation of Unilever into a more resilient, more competitive and more profitable business is accelerating,” he added in a statement. Sales for the first half of the year rose 5.5 per cent to 27.7 billion euros, with turnover growing particularly in Asia amid rising prices and in parts of the Americas. Currency fluctuations also helped profits, even though sales “remained weak” in Europe. — AFP