Unilever sales ahead of target in first quarter of the year

Unilever products include Marmite and Pot Noodle

"Everybody has to increase prices, and generally that'll be sticky".

Launched in 2010, Sir Kensington's produces condiments sold in the natural and organic marketplace made with Non-GMO Project verified, sustainably-sourced ingredients.

In February, it rebuffed a takeover by U.S. rival Kraft Heinz. The US company is backed by private equity firm 3G Capital Inc., known for its pursuit of aggressive profit targets.

Unilever said in the markets in which it operates, growth was around 2% with negative volumes.

Andrew Wood, an analyst covering Unilever for Sanford Bernstein, described the figures as "a decent set of results". A later Easter in 2017 pushed chocolate orders into the second quarter from the first this year.

Unilever shares are trading up 0.82 percent at time of writing this. One of the first quarter's best performers was ice cream, with brands like Magnum and Ben & Jerry's.

Analysts have called the Kraft Heinz bid a "massive wake-up call" for the company. Unilever was past year involved in a row with Tesco over Marmite prices. Distiller Pernod Ricard SA in March lifted the cost of some spirits and wines in the United Kingdom.

Positive aspects of the period for Nestle, the maker of Lean Cuisine meals, included accelerating sales in Europe and Asia, Kepler's Cox said. But take the troubled spreads away and sales growth leaps to 3.5%. The Refreshment unit, which includes ice cream, increased prices by 5 percent.

Unilever Chief Executive Paul Polman announced an overhaul of the company this month, following the rejected acquisition attempt by Kraft Heinz.

Further, the company said its Boards have determined to pay a quarterly interim dividend for first quarter of 0.3585 euros per Unilever N.V. ordinary share, and 0.3021 pounds per Unilever PLC ordinary share.

Unilever's share price has slipped marginally lower in London this morning, having lost 0.32 percent to 3,937.50p as of 08:12 BST, underperforming the broader United Kingdom market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and now standing 0.16 percent higher at 7,130.03 points.

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