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Unilever PLC (ULVR)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Friday 03 August, 2001

Unilever PLC

Interim Results

Unilever PLC
Unilever NV
3 August 2001

              UNILEVER SECOND QUARTER AND HALF YEAR RESULTS 2001

                                 (Unaudited)

We are meeting the milestones set by our Path to Growth strategy with
continuing momentum in the growth of the leading brands and a further
expansion of operating margin.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
                     Constant exchange rates (2000 average)
Second Quarter 2001                 Euro Millions                Half Year 2001
 13,694         +15% Total Turnover *                             26,433  +17 %
  1,791         +35% Total Operating profit * - beia **            3,372  +35 %
  1,514         +54% Pre-tax profit                                2,142   +7 %
    900         +52% Net profit                                    1,154   (7)%
    841          +8% Net profit - beia **                          1,543   +2 %
                     Per NV share (Fl. 1.12), Euro
   0.90         +53% Earnings per share (EPS)                       1.15   (7)%
   0.84          +8% EPS (beia) **                                  1.54   +2 %
                     Per PLC share (1.4p), Euro cent
  13.53         +53% EPS                                           17.19   (7)%
  12.64          +8% EPS (beia) **                                 23.12   +2 %


               * Includes our share of Joint Ventures

               ** before exceptional items and amortisation of
                  goodwill and intangibles

When expressed in current rates of exchange, earnings per share (beia) were up
7% for the quarter and 1% for the half year. Earnings per share rose by 48% in
the quarter but declined by 10% for the half year.


KEY FEATURES FOR THE QUARTER AND THE HALF YEAR

Sales growth of the leading brands reached 4.8% for the last twelve months,
excluding acquisitions, with 5.1% in the quarter.

  * Operating profit (beia), boosted by acquisitions, was ahead by Euro464
    million in the quarter and operating margin (beia) rose by 200 basis
    points in the quarter to 13.1% and by 170 basis points to 12.8% for the
    half year.

  * Savings from restructuring, global buying and Bestfoods integration are
    fully on track.

  * EPS (beia) advanced by 8% in the quarter and by 2% for the half year.

  * Cashflow from operations was Euro3.2 billion for the half year, which
    was further boosted by Euro1.3 billion from disposals.

  * Profit before tax and EPS includes a profit on the sale of businesses
    partly offset by planned restructuring costs.

CHAIRMEN'S COMMENT & OUTLOOK

'Our business continues to perform soundly. In Home and Personal Care we have
seen broad based and sustained growth of both sales and operating margin.

In Foods the integration of our acquisitions is proceeding to plan and we
already see the benefit of synergy and portfolio change in the margin
structure. Delivery of the cost synergy from the Bestfoods integration is
fully on track. As to be expected, the focus on fast integration in Foods has
restrained the growth of certain Bestfoods brands in the short term.

Following the Bestfoods acquisition we have completed the planned review of
our brand portfolio. Combining our existing brands with recent acquisitions,
including Bestfoods, Slim*Fast, Amora Maille and Ben & Jerry's, we have a
larger, more powerful portfolio of leading brands.

Economies are slowing in many regions. However our work on portfolio focus and
restructuring strengthens our capacity to cope with difficult conditions.
Looking forward to the full year we confirm the guidance previously given for
EPS (beia) growth in low double digits, and continuing progress for the
leading brands.'

N W A FitzGerald                       A Burgmans
Chairman, Unilever PLC                 Chairman, Unilever N.V.
3rd August, 2001

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SECOND QUARTER AND HALF YEAR FINANCIAL RESULTS (at constant rates of exchange)

Operating profit, before exceptional items and amortisation of goodwill and
intangibles (beia), increased by 35% for the quarter and for the half year.
Operating margin (beia) was 13.1% in the quarter, an increase of 200 basis
points, and was 12.8% for the half year, an increase of 170 basis points.

Exceptional items for the quarter were positive by Euro484 million after a pre
tax profit of Euro813 million arising from the sale of the brands to secure
regulatory approval of our acquisition of Bestfoods. Exceptional items in the
quarter relating to the Path to Growth programme and Bestfoods integration
were Euro329 million negative, giving a total cost for the half year of Euro
485 million. Associated costs were Euro114 million in the quarter and Euro184
million in the half year.

Amortisation of goodwill and intangibles was Euro350 million in the quarter
with Euro296 million related to the acquisition of Bestfoods. For the half
year these were Euro713 million and Euro593 million respectively.

Net interest was Euro409 million for the quarter, an increase of Euro354
million over last year reflecting the increased level of borrowings to fund
acquisitions, partly offset by cash flow from operations and the proceeds of
our disposal programme.

The effective tax rate for the quarter was 35%. This is lower than the rate
from the first quarter because the increase arising from the non-deductibility
of Bestfoods goodwill amortisation has been offset by the lower tax rate on
the sale of brands. The underlying tax rate for normal trading operations is
34%.

Minority interests reflect higher net profit primarily in India in both the
quarter and half year.

Net profit for the quarter rose by Euro306 million, or by 52%, with the profit
on the sale of businesses partly offset by planned restructuring charges. In
the half year net profit fell by 7% reflecting restructuring costs,
amortisation of goodwill and interest payable relating to the acquisitions
completed last year.

Earnings per share (beia) rose by 8% in the quarter and by 2% for the half
year. Earnings per share rose by 53% in the quarter but fell by 7% in the half
year reflecting the movements described earlier.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SECOND QUARTER PERFORMANCE BY REGION (at constant rates of exchange)

The following commentary is based on operating profit before exceptional items
and amortisation of goodwill and intangibles.

EUROPE:

Margin progress reflects benefits from Path to Growth

Sales were ahead by 6% including the net effect of acquisitions, principally
Amora Maille and Bestfoods, and the disposals of European Bakery and Elizabeth
Arden. Underlying sales growth was 1% which reflected 4% growth across Home
and Personal Care and our Foods portfolio offset by lower sales in Ice Cream.

In Western Europe Foods underlying sales growth was driven by Spreads and
Cooking products which achieved 6% through the success of the pro*activ
launch, the extension of new spreads including Bertolli, the launch of
Culinesse - a novel cooking margarine and good growth in Olive Oil. Frozen
Foods grew 2.5% through the roll out of 4 Salti in Padella, our high quality
ready meals.

The growth of SlimFast was excellent with sales more than doubling compared
to last year following a successful launch in the UK.

Ice Cream results were disappointing with sales down by 9%. This is partly due
to poor weather, which also affected ready-to- drink tea, and shedding of tail
brands. We are investing heavily in out of home segments such as artisanal and
scooping under the Carte d'Or brand. Cornetto soft ice is also growing fast.

Sales growth in the Laundry category was 3.5%, driven by innovation in
convenient and easy-to-use laundry capsules, share gains in tablets and new
products to make ironing easier.

In our Household Care business sales growth of over 6% has been achieved
through Domestos Oxygel and easy-to-use wipes in both Domestos and Cif.

Personal Care sales growth of 4% has come from the continued extension of
Dove, and the 12% growth in Oral Care due to strong sales of electric
toothbrushes and chewing gum.

In Central and Eastern Europe sales grew by 8% with excellent progress in
Spreads, Tea and across all Personal Care categories.

Operating margin for the quarter is ahead by 130 basis points reflecting a
strong turnaround in Central and Eastern Europe, the benefits of restructuring
and global buying and the contribution from portfolio changes and improved
mix.

NORTH AMERICA:

Solid sales growth in Home and Personal Care supplemented by acquisitions in
Foods. Operating margin moves well up.

Sales grew by 26%. Underlying sales growth was just over 3%.

In Home and Personal Care we saw good underlying sales growth of 4%. Strong
growth was recorded across our key personal care categories. In Skincare
growth of 6% has been driven by the further expansion of the Dove franchise, a
strong performance of the Suave range, and Lever 2000 anti-bacterial wipes. In
Hair, sales growth of 17% is driven by the strong performance of Suave and
Thermasilk, the latter following its relaunch in the first quarter. In
Laundry, previously announced pricing actions were retained despite pricing
rollback actions taken by our major competitor. As a result, we traded off
some volume to protect profitability.

In Foods, sales grew 3% in both Ice Cream and Culinary products. Tea sales
fell because of negative pricing action in response to competitors. Slim Fast
continued its rapid growth with sales up by over 20%.

Operating margin has moved ahead by 300 basis points, reflecting
restructuring, portfolio change and improved mix.

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND TURKEY:

Good sales growth across the region.

Sales grew by 13%. Underlying sales growth was over 7% with three percentage
points coming from price, half of which was derived from Turkey.

Sales have been strong across all key categories. Operating margins are 150
basis points higher due to the benefits of restructuring, portfolio change and
improved mix.

ASIA AND PACIFIC:

Continuing delivery of strong sales, and profit growth, despite weaker
economies.

Asia and Pacific has continued to perform strongly. Underlying sales growth is
7%.

In East Asia Pacific, with a slowdown in some key economies, we continued to
see strong sales growth. In Japan the growth was driven by Ready to Drink tea
following the formation of the alliance with Suntory and by both Lux Super
Rich and mods in Hair. In South East Asia we had broad based growth
particularly in Skin Care across the region and Surf in Indonesia.

In India underlying sales grew by 3.5% with high single digit growth in Home
and Personal Care being partly offset by a decline in Foods which was due to
lower sales of Tea. The key drivers for growth in Home and Personal Care were
hair, laundry, skin care following the re-launch of Fair & Lovely and the
continued success of Vim in household care. In Tea the lower sales reflect a
decline in tail brands as we focus our brand portfolio and strong price
competition from local operators, however, profitability has improved
significantly reflecting a major restructuring of the business.

Operating margin is 320 basis points up on last year primarily through
operational leverage.

LATIN AMERICA:

Good underlying sales growth in difficult economic conditions.

Sales in the quarter have moved ahead by 38% including acquisitions.
Underlying sales growth was over 5% coming equally from volume and price.

Laundry sales were particularly strong and Deodorants and Hair also grew
strongly. Sedal shampoo in Mexico continues to make excellent progress.

In Foods we had good underlying growth across all categories, recovering from
a weak quarter last year. Sales are further boosted by acquisition,
strengthening both portfolio and distribution.

Ice cream sales were up 13%, with particularly strong growth in Mexico.

Operating margins have moved ahead by 160 basis points reflecting the benefits
of price recovery, our cost effectiveness programmes, and portfolio change.

CASH FLOW / BALANCE SHEET

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cash flow from operations for the half year of Euro3.2 billion was Euro0.3
billion above the corresponding period last year. This was driven by strong
underlying earnings and the contribution from acquisitions partly offset by
higher seasonal working capital outflows in Foods.

Returns on investment and servicing of finance reflect higher interest costs
as a result of the funding of acquisitions.

Capital expenditure and financial investments are higher and include larger
purchases of own shares to cover the broadening of the share option scheme in
support of the development of an enterprise culture.

Net proceeds from disposals include Euro0.2 billion from the sale of Elizabeth
Arden and Euro1.0 billion for the sale of brands to Campbells.

Net debt has increased by Euro1.1 billion since 31st December reflecting a
large currency retranslation of primarily dollar denominated debt of Euro1.4
billion offset by cash generation and other non-cash movements.

Goodwill and intangibles have increased by Euro0.6 billion comprising a
currency retranslation gain of Euro1.3 billion less amortisation for the half
year of Euro0.7 billion.

Capital and reserves increased by Euro0.2 billion. Net profit of Euro1.1
billion is reduced by a negative currency retranslation of Euro0.5 billion and
by purchases of own shares of Euro0.4 billion.

EURO REPORTING

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Information in sterling and US dollars is available as a supplement to this
Euro report.


    SAFE HARBOUR STATEMENT: This announcement may contain forward-looking
    statements (within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation
    Reform Act 1995). Any forward-looking statements are based on current
    expectations with respect to important risk factors. It is important to
    note that the actual results could materially differ from the results
    anticipated in any forward-looking statements which may be contained in
    this announcement. Factors which might cause forward-looking statements to
    differ materially from actual results include, among other things, the
    overall economic, political, social and business conditions, the demand
    for our goods and services, competition in the market, fluctuations in
    interest rates and foreign currencies, the impact and other uncertainties
    of future acquisitions and disposals and any changes in the tax laws and
    other legislation and regulation, in the jurisdictions in which we
    operate.

    We do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking
    statements contained in or incorporated in this announcement to reflect
    actual results, changes in assumptions or in other factors which may
    affect any forward-looking statements.

CONSOLIDATED PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT - CONSTANT EXCHANGE RATES (unaudited)

In the profit and loss account given below, the results in both years have
been translated at constant exchange rates, being the annual average exchange
rates for 2000. This reporting convention facilitates comparisons since the
impact of exchange rate fluctuations is eliminated.

 Second Quarter          Euro Millions - constant              Half Year
    2001   2000   %                                        2001    2000  % Incr
                Incr./                                                      /
                (Decr.)                                                  (Decr.)

  13,694 11,922  15 %   TOTAL TURNOVER                   26,433  22,512   17 %
    (173)   (98)        Less: Share of turnover            (329)   (169)
                              of joint ventures
  13,521 11,824  14 %   GROUP TURNOVER                   26,104  22,343   17 %
   1,907  1,027  86 %   GROUP OPERATING PROFIT            2,952   2,065   43 %
   1,764  1,317  34 %   Group operating profit beia *     3,319   2,482   34 %
     484   (277)        Exceptional items                   328    (395)
    (341)   (13)        Amortisation of goodwill           (695)    (22)
                         and intangibles
      18     10         Add: Share of operating              35      22
                          profit of joint ventures
   1,925  1,037  85 %   TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT            2,987   2,087   43 %
   1,791  1,327  35 %   Operating Profit beia *           3,372   2,504   35 %
     484   (277)        Exceptional items                   328    (395)
   (350)    (13)        Amortisation of goodwill           (713)    (22)
                          and intangibles
     (2)      1         Other income from fixed               4       2
                           investments
   (409)    (55)        Interest                           (849)    (90)
  1,514     983  54 %   PROFIT BEFORE TAXATION            2,142   1,999    7 %
   (533)   (343)        Taxation                           (853)   (666)
    981     640  53 %   PROFIT AFTER TAXATION             1,289   1,333   (3)%
    (81)    (46)        Minority Interests                 (135)    (90)
    900     594  52 %   NET PROFIT AT CONSTANT            1,154   1,243   (7)%
                         2000 EXCHANGE RATES
    841     782   8 %   Net Profit before exceptional     1,543   1,515    2 %
                        items & amortisation of goodwill
                        and intangibles (Constant rates)
    871     592  47 %   NET PROFIT AT EXCHANGE RATES      1,115   1,235  (10)%
                          CURRENT IN EACH PERIOD
    829     779   6 %   Net Profit before exceptional     1,513   1,502    1 %
                        items & amortisation of goodwill
                         and intangibles (Current rates)
                        COMBINED EARNINGS PER SHARE
                               (Current rates)
   0.88    0.59  48 %   - per Fl. 1.12 ordinary            1.11    1.23  (10)%
                          share (Euros)
   0.85    0.58  48 %   - per Fl. 1.12 ordinary            1.08    1.20  (10)%
                           share - diluted (Euros)
  13.10    8.83  48 %   - per 1.4p ordinary share         16.61   18.41  (10)%
                           (Euro cents)
  12.74    8.62  48 %   - per 1.4p ordinary share         16.16   17.96  (10)%
                           - diluted (Euro cents)

* beia means before exceptional items and amortisation of goodwill and
intangibles.

STATEMENT OF TOTAL RECOGNISED GAINS AND LOSSES (unaudited)

Euro Millions                                                      Half Year
                                                                  2001     2000

Net profit                                                       1,115    1,235
Currency retranslation                                           (537)       63
Total recognised gains / (losses) since last annual accounts       578    1,298

SUMMARY BALANCE SHEET (unaudited)
Euro Millions
                                      As at 30th        As at 31st    As at 1st
                                            June          December         July
                                            2001              2000         2000
Goodwill and intangibles                  27,027            26,467        4,138
Acquired businesses held for               1,820             1,666            -
resale
Fixed assets                              10,998            10,996        9,282
Stocks                                     6,040             5,421        5,034
Debtors                                   10,734             9,817        9,216
Cash and current investments               3,492             3,273        6,064
Trade & other creditors                 (12,913)          (12,708)     (10,260)
                                          47,198            44,932       23,474
Borrowings                                31,084            29,741        8,854
Provisions for liabilities and             7,068             6,404        5,178
charges
Minority interests                           656               618          606
Capital and reserves                       8,390             8,169        8,836
                                          47,198            44,932       23,474

CASH FLOW STATEMENT (unaudited)
Euro Millions                                                      Half Year
                                                                   2001    2000
Cash flow from operating activities                               3,226    2914
Dividends from joint ventures                                        15       5
Returns on investments and servicing of finance                 (1,036)   (266)
Taxation                                                          (638)   (698)
Capital expenditure and financial investment                      (948)   (692)
Acquisitions and disposals                                        1,277 (3,739)
Dividends paid on ordinary share capital                          (926)   (888)
CASH INFLOW / (OUTFLOW) BEFORE MANAGEMENT OF LIQUID RESOURCES       970 (3,364)
AND FINANCING
Management of liquid resources                                    (443)     132
Financing                                                         (591)   4,592
INCREASE / (DECREASE) IN CASH IN THE PERIOD                        (64)   1,360

RECONCILIATION OF CASH FLOW TO MOVEMENT IN NET FUNDS/(DEBT)

NET FUNDS / (DEBT) AT 1 JANUARY                              (26,468)       684
INCREASE / (DECREASE) IN CASH IN THE PERIOD                      (64)     1,360
Cash flow from (increase)/decrease in borrowings                  581   (4,601)
Cash flow from increase/(decrease) in liquid resources            443     (132)
Change in net funds / (debt) resulting from cash flows            960   (3,373)
Borrowings within group companies acquired                          -      (90)
Borrowings within group companies sold                              1         -
Liquid resources within group companies acquired                    -         8
Liquid resources within group companies sold                        -         -
Non cash movements                                              (695)       199
Currency retranslation                                        (1,390)     (218)
MOVEMENT IN NET FUNDS / (DEBT) IN THE PERIOD                  (1,124)   (3,474)
NET FUNDS / (DEBT) AT HALF YEAR                              (27,592)   (2,790)

GEOGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS (CONSTANT)

   Second Quarter        Euro Millions                          Half Year
               % Incr./                                                 % Incr./
   2001   2000 (Decr.)                                       2001   2000 (Decr.)

 13,694 11,922    15 %   TOTAL TURNOVER                    26,433  22,512  17 %
  5,306  4,993           Europe                            10,097   9,212
  3,506  2,788    26 %   North America                      6,772   5,278  28 %
    985    873    13 %   Africa, Middle East and Turkey     1,840   1,630
  2,161  2,008     8 %   Asia and Pacific                   4,223   3,920   8 %
  1,736  1,260           Latin America                      3,501   2,472
  1,791  1,327    35 %   TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT - before    3,372   2,504  35 %
                         exceptional items and amortisation
                         of goodwill and intangibles
    801    690    16 %   Europe                             1,408   1,195  18 %
    453    276    64 %   North America                        814     502  62 %
    110     85           Africa, Middle East and Turkey       194     138  40 %
    252    168    49 %   Asia and Pacific                     535     431  24 %
    175    108           Latin America                        421     238  78 %
  13.1%  11.1%           TOTAL OPERATING MARGIN - before    12.8%   11.1%
                         exceptional items and amortisation
                         of goodwill and intangibles
  15.1%  13.8%           Europe                             13.9%   13.0%
  12.9%   9.9%           North America                      12.0%    9.5%
  11.2%   9.7%           Africa, Middle East and Turkey     10.5%    8.5%
  11.6%   8.4%           Asia and Pacific                   12.7%   11.0%
  10.1%   8.5%           Latin America                      12.0%    9.6%

OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS (CONSTANT)
          Second Quarter        Euro Millions                  Half Year
                 % Incr./                                               % Incr./
   2001    2000   (Decr.)                                   2001   2000 (Decr.)

 13,694  11,922    15 %      TOTAL TURNOVER               26,433 22,512    17 %
  7,644   6,084    26 %      Foods                        14,606 11,115    31 %
  2,163   1,859    16 %      Oil and dairy based foods     4,291  3,598    19 %
                               and bakery 
  2,468   2,497              Ice cream and beverages       4,135  4,064
  3,013   1,728    74 %      Culinary and frozen products  6,180  3,453    79 %
  2,739   2,577     6 %      Home Care and Professional    5,421  5,030
                                Cleaning
  3,151   3,039     4 %      Personal Care                 6,097  5,941     3 %
    160     222              Other Operations                309    426
  1,791   1,327    35 %      TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT        3,372  2,504    35 %
                              - before exceptional
                              items and amortisation of
                              goodwill and intangibles
  1,105     804    37 %      Foods                         1,900  1,237
    297     236    25 %      Oil and dairy based foods       592    446    32 %
                               and bakery
    349     371              Ice cream and beverages         440    445       %
    459     197   133 %      Culinary and frozen products    868    346   152 %
    188     176     7 %      Home Care and Professional      436    425
                                Cleaning
    478     345              Personal Care                 1,006    835    21 %
     20       2   - %        Other Operations                 30      7
 13.1%    11.1%              TOTAL OPERATING MARGIN       12.8 % 11.1 %
                             - before exceptional items
                              and amortisation of 
                              goodwill and intangibles
  14.5%                      Foods                        13.0 %
  13.7%                      Oil and dairy based foods    13.8 %
                               and bakery
  14.2%                      Ice cream and beverages      10.7 %
  15.2%                      Culinary and frozen products 14.0 %
   6.9%                      Home Care and Professional    8.0 %
                                Cleaning
  15.2%                      Personal Care                16.5 %
  12.1%                      Other Operations              9.6 %


NOTES

Exchange Rates

The results for 2001 and the comparative figures for 2000 have been translated
at constant average rates of exchange, being the annual average rates for
2000. For our reporting currencies these were Euro1 = £0.61 = US $0.92. In
addition, the results, earnings per share and cash flow statement have been
translated at rates current in each period. For our reporting currencies these
were:

      Second Quarter                       Half Year
2001  Euro1 = £0.61 = US $0.89             Euro1 = £0.62 = US $0.90
2000  Euro1 = £0.61 = US $0.93             Euro1 = £0.61 = US $0.96

The balance sheet figures have been translated at period-end rates of
exchange. For our reporting currencies these were Euro1 = £0.60 = US $0.85 at
the half year (31 December 2000: Euro1 = £0.62 = US $0.93).

Current Rates of Exchange

For the half year in current rates of exchange: Total turnover is Euro26,028
million (18% increase); Operating profit beia is Euro3,314 million (34%
increase); Operating profit is Euro2,915 million (41% increase); Interest is a
charge of Euro846 million (compared with a charge of Euro82 million last
year); Pre-tax profit is Euro2,074 million (4% increase); Net profit is Euro
1,115 million (10% decrease); Net profit beia is Euro1,513 million (1%
increase); Earnings per share beia is Euro1.51 per NV share (1% increase);
Earnings per share is Euro1.11 per NV share (10% decrease).

Acquisitions

In the first half year 2001 the effect on turnover and operating profit of
acquisitions made in the period was not material.

Disposals

Following the approval of the European Commission, the sale of several of our
European dry soups and sauces businesses was completed on 4th May to the
Campbell Soup Company for a debt free price of Euro1 billion. The agreement to
sell these businesses, as a result of undertakings given to the European
Commission in connection with Unilever's acquisition of Bestfoods last year,
was announced on 29th January. Annual sales of these businesses totalled
approximately Euro435 million.

On 31st May, we announced plans to sell a number of North American food brands
and related assets from the Bestfoods portfolio, primarily cooking oil
products, corn starches, commodity oils and syrups. Also included in the sale
are the Rit dye and Niagara starch fabric care brands. In total these brands
had combined annual sales approaching US $400 million in 2000.

On 19th June, we announced plans to sell Unipath Limited, our women's health
diagnostics subsidiary as we continue to focus resource behind selected
consumer brands in our 'Path to Growth' strategy.

On 27th June we announced plans to sell two of our edible oil refineries in
the Netherlands and Germany. These businesses together have annual third party
sales of Euro170 million.

On 31st July we announced the completion of the sale of the Bestfoods Bakery
Company to George Weston Limited for US $1.77 billion.

Acquired businesses held for resale

A number of Bestfoods businesses are expected to be sold within a year from
their purchase. The assets and liabilities of those businesses, after
adjustment to their estimated net proceeds of sale, have been included within
'Acquired businesses held for resale'. The results of these businesses for the
period are not included in the Profit & Loss Account.

Reporting of total turnover and total operating profit

The term 'Total' means Group (turnover and operating profit) plus our share of
the joint ventures (turnover and operating profit) net of our share of any
sales to the joint ventures already included in the Group figures.

Combined earnings per share

The combined earnings per share calculations are based on the average number
of share units representing the combined ordinary shares of NV and PLC in
issue during the period, less the average number of shares held to meet
options granted under various employee share plans.

The number of combined share units is calculated from the underlying NV and
PLC shares using the exchange rate of £1 = Fl. 12, in accordance with the
Equalisation Agreement.

The diluted earnings per share are based on the average number of share units,
plus all shares under option, together with certain PLC shares which may be
issued in 2038 under the arrangements for the variation of the Leverhulme
Trust. The number of shares is reduced, in accordance with FRS 14, by the
number of shares that could be purchased at fair value with the expected
proceeds from the exercise of options by employees.

Earnings per share in Euro
                                             Constant rates      Current rates
                                            2001       2000      2001       2000
                                                    Thousands of units
Average number of combined               984,039    990,565    984,039   990,565
share units of Fl.1.12
Average number of combined             6,560,258  6,603,765  6,560,258 6,603,765
  share units of 1.4p
COMBINED EPS
Net profit                                 1,154      1,243      1,115     1,235
Less: Preference dividends                    26         19         26        19
Net profit attributable to                 1,128      1,224      1,089     1,216
 ordinary capital
Combined EPS per Fl. 1.12 (Euros)           1.15       1.24       1.11      1.23
Combined EPS per 1.4p (Euro cents)         17.19      18.53      16.61     18.41
COMBINED EPS - BEIA
Net profit                                 1,154      1,243      1,115     1,235
Add back exceptional items net of tax      (297)        253      (285)       249
Add back amortisation of goodwill            689         19        686        18
 / intangibles net of tax
Add back exceptional items in minority       (3)          -        (3)         -
interests net of tax
Net profit beia                            1,543      1,515     1,513      1,502
Less: Preference dividends                    26         19        26         19
Net profit attributable to                 1,517      1,496     1,487      1,483
  ordinary capital - beia
Combined EPS beia per Fl. 1.12 (Euros)      1.54       1.51      1.51       1.50
Combined EPS beia per 1.4p (Euro cents)    23.12      22.65     22.66      22.45
COMBINED EPS - Diluted
                                                      Thousands of units
Adjusted average combined
 share units of Fl.1.12                1,011,220  1,015,621 1,011,220  1,015,621

Adjusted average combined
 share units of 1.4p                   6,741,465  6,770,805 6,741,465  6,770,805

Net profit attributable
 to ordinary capital                       1,128      1,224     1,089      1,216
Combined diluted EPS
 per Fl. 1.12 (Euros)                       1.12       1.20      1.08       1.20
Combined diluted EPS per
 1.4p (Euro cents)                         16.73      18.07     16.16      17.96

Dates

The results for the third quarter and announcement of interim dividends will
be published on Friday 2 November, 2001.

Salient figures for the above results will be published in the Financial Times
and Daily Telegraph on 4 August 2001.

3 August 2001

Internet: http://www.unilever.com

E-mail: press-office.london@unilever.com

CONSOLIDATED PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT - CONSTANT EXCHANGE RATES (unaudited)

In the profit and loss account given below, the results in both years have
been translated at constant exchange rates, being the annual average exchange
rates for 2000. This reporting convention facilitates comparisons since the
impact of exchange rate fluctuations is eliminated.

 Second Quarter           £ Millions - constant                   Half Year
   2001   2000   %Incr./                                    2001    2000  %Incr/
                 (Decr.)                                                 (Decr.)

  8,336  7,257    15 %    TOTAL TURNOVER                  16,090  13,703   17 %
  (105)   (60)            Less: Share of turnover          (200)   (103)
  8,231  7,197    14 %    GROUP TURNOVER                  15,890  13,600   17 %
  1,160    626    86 %    GROUP OPERATING PROFIT           1,796   1,257   43 %
  1,074    801    34 %    Group operating profit beia *    2,020   1,510   34 %
    294  (167)            Exceptional items                  199   (239)
  (208)    (8)            Amortisation of goodwill         (423)    (14)
                            and intangibles
    10      6             Add: Share of operating             21      14
                           profit of joint ventures
 1,170    632     85 %    TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT           1,817   1,271   43 %
 1,090    807     35 %    Operating Profit BEIA *          2,053   1,524   35 %
   294  (167)             Exceptional items                  199   (239)
 (214)    (8)             Amortisation of goodwill         (435)    (14)
                             and intangibles
     -     1              Other income from                    3       1
                             fixed investments
 (249)   (34)              Interest                         (517)    (55)
  921    599      54 %    PROFIT BEFORE TAXATION            1,303   1,217   7 %
 (324)  (209)             Taxation                          (519)   (405)
  597    390      53 %    PROFIT AFTER TAXATION               784     812  (3)%
  (49)   (28)             Minority Interests                 (82)    (55)
  548    362      52 %    NET PROFIT AT CONSTANT              702     757  (7)%
                            2000 EXCHANGE RATES
  512    475       8 %    Net Profit before                   939     921   2 %
                          exceptional items & amortisation 
                          of goodwill and intangibles
                          (Constant rates)
  541    362      49 %    NET PROFIT AT EXCHANGE RATES        695     756  (8)%
                           CURRENT IN EACH PERIOD
  510    476       7 %    Net Profit before exceptional       942     919   3 %
                           items & amortisation of goodwill
                           and intangibles (Current rates)
                          COMBINED EARNINGS PER SHARE **(Current
                               rates)
8.12p   5.39p     50 %    - per 1.4p ordinary share         10.34p 11.26p  (8)%
                             (Euro cents)
7.91p   5.26p     50 %    - per 1.4p ordinary share -       10.07p 10.99p  (8)%
                            diluted (Euro  cents)

* beia means before exceptional items and amortisation of goodwill and
intangibles.

STATEMENT OF TOTAL RECOGNISED GAINS AND LOSSES (unaudited)
£ Millions                                                         Half Year
                                                                   2001   2000
Net profit                                                          695    756
Currency retranslation                                            (486)    140
Total recognised gains / (losses) since last annual accounts        209    896

SUMMARY BALANCE SHEET (unaudited)
£ Millions
                                      As at 30th        As at 31st    As at 1st
                                            June          December         July
                                            2001              2000         2000
Goodwill and intangibles                  16,335            16,508        2,620
Acquired businesses held for               1,100             1,039            -
resale
Fixed assets                               6,647             6,858        5,875
Stocks                                     3,651             3,381        3,187
Debtors                                    6,488             6,123        5,834
Cash and current investments               2,111             2,042        3,838
Trade & other creditors                  (7,806)           (7,926)      (6,495)
                                          28,526            28,025       14,859
Borrowings                                18,787            18,549        5,604
Provisions for liabilities and             4,272             3,995        3,278
charges
Minority interests                           396               386          384
Capital and reserves                       5,071             5,095        5,593
                                          28,526            28,025       14,859

CASH FLOW STATEMENT (unaudited)
£ Millions                                                          Half Year
                                                                   2001    2000
Cash flow from operating activities                               2,010   1,784
Dividends from joint ventures                                         9       3
Returns on investments and servicing of finance                   (645)   (162)
Taxation                                                          (397)   (427)
Capital expenditure and financial investment                      (591)   (423)
Acquisitions and disposals                                          796 (2,287)
Dividends paid on ordinary share capital                          (577)   (543)
CASH INFLOW / (OUTFLOW) BEFORE MANAGEMENT OF LIQUID RESOURCES AND   605 (2,055)
FINANCING
Management of liquid resources                                    (276)      81
Financing                                                         (366)   2,808
INCREASE / (DECREASE) IN CASH IN THE PERIOD                        (37)     834


RECONCILIATION OF CASH FLOW TO MOVEMENT IN NET FUNDS/(DEBT)
NET FUNDS / (DEBT AT 1 JANUARY                               (16,507)       425
INCREASE / (DECREASE) IN CASH IN THE PERIOD                      (37)       834
Cash flow from (increase)/decrease in borrowings                  360   (2,814)
Cash flow from increase/(decrease) in liquid resources            276      (81)
Change in net funds / (debt) resulting from cash flows            599   (2,061)
Borrowings within group companies acquired                          -      (55)
Borrowings within group companies sold                              1         -
Liquid resources within group companies acquired                    -         5
Liquid resources within group companies sold                        -         -
Non cash movements                                              (433)       122
Currency retranslation                                          (336)     (202)
MOVEMENT IN NET FUNDS / (DEBT) IN THE PERIOD                    (169)   (2,191)
NET FUNDS / (DEBT) AT HALF YEAR                              (16,676)   (1,766)

GEOGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS (CONSTANT)
         Second Quarter   £ Millions                         Half Year
               % Incr./                                              % Incr./
  2001   2000   (Decr.)                                    2001   2000 (Decr.)
 8,336  7,257     15 %     TOTAL TURNOVER                16,090 13,703  17 %
 3,230  3,039              Europe                         6,146 5,607
 2,134  1,697     26 %     North America                  4,122 3,213   28 %
   599    531     13 %     Africa, Middle East and Turkey 1,120   992
 1,316  1,223      8 %     Asia and Pacific               2,571 2,387    8 %
 1,057    767              Latin America                  2,131 1,504
 1,090    807     35 %     TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT         2,053 1,524   35 %
                           - before exceptional items
                             and amortisation
                           of goodwill and intangibles
   487    421     16 %     Europe                           857   728   18 %
   276    167     64 %     North America                    496   305   62 %
    67     51              Africa, Middle East and Turkey   118    84   40 %
   152    102     49 %     Asia and Pacific                 325   262   24 %
   108     66              Latin America                    257   145   78 %
 13.1%  11.1%              TOTAL OPERATING MARGIN         12.8% 11.1%
                           - before exceptional items
                             and amortisation
                             of goodwill and intangibles
 15.1%  13.8%              Europe                         13.9% 13.0%
 12.9%   9.9%              North America                  12.0%  9.5%
 11.2%   9.7%              Africa, Middle East and Turkey 10.5%  8.5%
 11.6%   8.4%              Asia and Pacific               12.7% 11.0%
 10.1%   8.5%              Latin America                  12.0%  9.6%

OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS (CONSTANT)

           Second Quarter      £ Millions                    Half Year
                % Incr./                                               % Incr./
  2001   2000   (Decr.)                                     2001   2000 (Decr.)

 8,336  7,257    15 %     TOTAL TURNOVER                  16,090 13,703   17 %
 4,653  3,703    26 %     Foods                            8,891  6,766   31 %
 1,316  1,132    16 %     Oil and dairy based              2,612  2,190   19 %
                            foods and bakery
 1,503  1,519             Ice cream and beverages          2,517  2,474
 1,834  1,052    74 %     Culinary and frozen products     3,762  2,102   79 %
 1,668  1,569     6 %     Home Care and Professional       3,300  3,062
                            Cleaning
 1,918  1,850     4 %     Personal Care                    3,711  3,616    3 %
    97    135             Other Operations                   188    259
 1,090    807    35 %     TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT           2,053  1,524   35 %
                           - before exceptional
                           items and amortisation
                           of goodwill and intangibles
   673    490    37 %     Foods                            1,157    754
   181    144    25 %     Oil and dairy based foods          361    273   32 %
                           and bakery
   213    226             Ice cream and beverages            268    271      %
   279    120   133 %     Culinary and frozen products       528    210  152 %
   114    107     7 %     Home Care and Professional         265    259
                             Cleaning
   291    210             Personal Care                      613    508   21 %
    12      -     - %     Other Operations                    18      3  427 %
 13.1%  11.1%             TOTAL OPERATING MARGIN - before  12.8%  11.1%
                          exceptional items and
                          amortisation of goodwill
                          and intangibles
 14.5%                    Foods                            13.0%
 13.7%                    Oil and dairy based foods        13.8%
                            and bakery
 14.2%                    Ice cream and beverages          10.7%
 15.2%                    Culinary and frozen products     14.0%
  6.9%                    Home Care and Professional        8.0%
                             Cleaning
 15.2%                    Personal Care                    16.5%
 12.1%                    Other Operations                  9.6%

Earnings per share in Sterling
                                             Constant rates   Current rates
                                             2001      2000       2001      2000
                                                      Thousands of units
Average number of combined
 share units of 1.4p                    6,560,258  6,603,765 6,560,258 6,603,765
COMBINED EPS
Net profit                                    702        757       695       756
Less: Preference dividends                     16         12        16        12
Net profit attributable to
 ordinary capital                             686        745       679       744
Combined EPS per 1.4p                      10.46p     11.28p    10.34p    11.26p
COMBINED EPS - BEIA
Net profit                                    702        757       695       756
Add back exceptional items net of tax       (180)        152     (178)       152
Add back amortisation of goodwill
 / intangibles                                419         12       427        11
net of tax
Add back exceptional items in minority        (2)          -       (2)         -
interests net of tax
Net profit beia                               939        921       942       919
Less: Preference dividends                     16         12        16        12
Net profit attributable to
 ordinary capital - beia                      923        909       926       907
Combined EPS beia per 1.4p                 14.07p     13.77p    14.12p    13.73p
COMBINED EPS - Diluted
                                                      Thousands of units
Adjusted average combined
 share units of 1.4p                    6,741,465  6,770,805 6,741,465 6,770,805
Net profit attributable to
 ordinary capital                             686        745       679       744
Combined diluted EPS per 1.4p              10.18p     11.00p    10.07p    10.99p