Unilever Caribbean Ltd has reported a $12.8 million increase in profits for the nine months ending September 30.
In its unaudited financial statements, Unilever recorded a profit after tax of $13.3 million despite a 14.6 per cent decline in revenue.
“The revenue performance was impacted by changing market forces in selected channels as well as the decline in the macroeconomic environment, resulting in declines in the Solution Wash sales in both the local and regional markets,” Unilever said.
It added that this negative impact on the home care business overshadowed strong growth in the beauty and personal care and food channels.
Unilever said profitability, as measured by gross margin, has improved as it continues to recognise more favourable material and freight costs with an improved sales mix.
Unilever recorded $602 million in freight and logistics benefits, which were related to the previous quarters of this year.
It added that these benefits arose out of the conclusion of global freight rate negotiations and the attendant reductions in freight rates in the previous quarters.
Unilever chairman Daniela Bucaro said, “The company’s steadfast focus on accelerating profitable growth is supported by the improvement in the category mix, where increase in beauty and personal care sales have contributed to 59 per cent of total year-to-date revenue, up from 39 per cent in the previous comparative period.”
Bucaro added that this significant shift in product mix has boosted profitability and is aligned with Unilever’s strategic plan, which is centred on portfolio optimisation and sustainable profitable growth for a future fit organisation.
“Notwithstanding the challenging environment, local and in the Caribbean markets, Unilever maintains a strong financial position, with healthy cash holdings and retained earnings, and reported earnings per share of $0.51,” Bucaro said.