Unilever plc (LON: ULVR) said on Thursday that its net profit posted a decline in fiscal 2020. The company reported lower than expected profit for the year due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic that disrupted its business. For 2021, however, Unilever expressed confidence that the recovery is imminent.
The COVID-19 crisis has so far infected more than 104 million people worldwide and caused over 2.2 million deaths. Jefferies analysts commented on Unilever’s financial report on Thursday and said:
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“Slower EM’s (Emerging Markets) in Q4 is the root cause of the top line miss to Jefferies estimates, playing out against a background of extended lockdown activity worldwide.”
Unilever reports £44.77 billion of turnover
The owner of world-renowned consumer brands, including Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, said that its net profit in the recently concluded financial year came in at £4.93 billion. In comparison, it had reported a slightly higher £4.97 billion of net profit in fiscal 2019.
The company compiled consensus for the full-year net profit stood at £6.19 billion. Unilever also said on Thursday that its turnover slid to £44.77 billion in the recent year versus the year-ago figure of £45.89 billion.
The company attributed the decline primarily to a 5.4% hit to currency-related items. In comparison, the multisector retailer had posted a 4.4% annualised growth in underlying sales in the prior quarter (Q3).
Unilever declares 38 pence per share of quarterly dividend
Unilever’s board approved 38 pence per share of quarterly dividend on Thursday. The company said:
“We will deliver long term-value creation by continuing to evolve our portfolio and driving earnings growth, a strong cash flow and a growing dividend.”
In separate news from the United Kingdom, the residential property development company, Barratt Developments plc, said that its profit jumped in the fiscal first half and declared 7.5 pence per share of interim dividend.
Unilever shares, that you can learn to buy online here, opened roughly 2% down on Thursday and slid another 2% in the next hour. Including the price action, the stock is now trading at £41.50 per share. In comparison, it had tumbled to as low as £37.26 per share in March 2020.
Unilever closed almost flat on average in the stock market last year. At the time of writing, the British multinational has a market cap of £109.53 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 21.01.
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