Emerging markets continue to drive growth for Nestlé and Unilever

By Louis Gore-Langton

- Last updated on GMT

Sales for both companies were driven by emerging markets ©iStock
Sales for both companies were driven by emerging markets ©iStock

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Industry giants Nestlé and Unilever report steady sales growth driven by emerging markets for first quarter of 2017 and predict continued growth throughout the year.


Unilever's stormy year, which included the failed acquisition attempt by KraftHeinz - today released its first quarterly report of 2017 revealing steady sales growth.

Turnover increased 6.1% to €13.3bn, and both sales and prices increased by 3% overall. Leading the sales growth were emerging markets, which showed a 6.1% sales growth, a 5.8% price rise and 0.8% increase in volume.

The food segment however remained flat in growth, which Unilever blamed on a “later Easter”. ​A drop in sales of its spreads businesses of 5.1% is little surprise given the announcement spreads would be sold off.

CEO of Unilever Paul Polman said the overall report “reflects our continued investment in both innovations and brand support, and reconfirms the strength of our long-term sustainable compounding growth model. The actions we are taking keep us on track for another year of underlying sales growth ahead of our markets, in the 3–5% range.”


Although unburdened by possible acquisitions, business sales, and restructuring, Nestlé reported lower rates of growth.

Sales increased by 0.4% to €19.6bn and organic growth levelled at 0.8% for developed markets and 4.3% for emerging markets, again a leading factor in company development.

The report stated growth was “driven by robust performances in South-East Asia, India and sub-Saharan Africa” ​but hindered slightly by the timing of Chinese New Year.

Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO: “Organic growth of 2.3% this quarter is within our full-year guidance range. The leap year comparison and other seasonal effects made the start of this year particularly challenging. We were encouraged by the growth in Asia and the resilience of consumer spending in Europe.”

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