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Unilever today announced its results for the second quarter of 2007. According to the report underlying sales growth for the half year was 5.8%. The company also reported an operating margin of 13.7%, with an underlying improvement of 0.3 percentage points (before higher charges for restructuring and lower disposal profits). Earnings per share from continuing operations were up 10%, including good contributions from joint ventures and associates, reduced finance costs and a lower tax rate.
The company reported broad-based sales growth across all regions and categories. Also, the sales ahead of a systems change in the United States contributed 0.4 percentage points to first half growth.
The company is expecting an underlying sales growth for 2007 to be at the upper end of the 3-5% range, together with an underlying improvement in operating margin. Plans to step up innovation, shaping the portfolio and margin improvement and to dispose of over €2 billion of turnover including North American laundry is underway.