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Unilever PLC (ULVR)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Friday 02 November, 2001

Unilever PLC

3rd Quarter & 9 Mths Results

Unilever PLC
Unilever NV.
2 November 2001

                               UNILEVER RESULTS

                   THIRD QUARTER 2001 AND INTERIM DIVIDENDS

                                 (Unaudited)

Good sales growth due to continued momentum in the leading brands and strong
performance in Europe. The Bestfoods integration continues according to plan
with an improved sales trend and full delivery of cost synergies.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

                    Constant exchange rates (2000 average)
Third Quarter 2001               Euro Millions                Nine Months 2001
    13,568    +13 % Total Turnover *                            40,001    +16 %
     2,125    +25 % Total Operating profit * - beia **           5,497    +31 %
     1,014    (32)% Pre-tax profit                               3,156     (9)%
       476    (44)% Net profit                                   1,630    (22)%
     1,053     +5 % Net profit - beia **                         2,596     +3 %
                    Per NV share (Fl. 1.12), Euro
      0.47    (44)% Earnings per share (EPS)                      1.62    (22)%
      1.06     +6 % EPS (beia) **                                 2.60     +4 %
                    Per PLC share (1.4p), Euro cent
      7.11    (44)% EPS                                          24.30    (22)%
     15.91     +6 % EPS (beia) **                                39.03     +4 %
                    * 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
5% for the quarter and 2% for the first nine months. Earnings per share
declined by 42% in the quarter and by 23% for the first nine months.

Interim dividend: NV ordinary share Euro0.50 +4%, PLC ordinary share 4.65p
+6%.

KEY FEATURES FOR THE QUARTER AND THE FIRST NINE MONTHS

- Sales growth of the leading brands, excluding acquisitions, reached 5.4% for
the last twelve months, and 5.3% in the quarter.

- Operating margin (beia) rose by 160 basis points to 15.7% in the quarter,
and to 13.7% for the year to date.

- Path to Growth savings from restructuring and global buying are on track
with additional savings from media efficiency.

- Year to date cashflow from operations was Euro5.2 billion with an additional
Euro3.3 billion from disposals.

- EPS (beia) advanced by 6% in the quarter and by 4% for the year to date.

- Profit before tax and EPS reflect planned restructuring and goodwill
amortisation from acquisitions.



CHAIRMEN'S COMMENT

'The quarter saw strong underlying sales growth from our Foods businesses with
improved performances from European Ice Cream and Ready-to-Drink Tea. Spreads
and Frozen Foods continued to benefit from a strong innovation programme.
There were also excellent results from Ice Cream in North America and from
Slim*Fast, both in the USA and following its international roll-out.

In Home and Personal Care our mass businesses had good sales growth in Europe,
North America and East Asia Pacific. These were partly offset by a decline in
Prestige Fragrances and a slowdown in some of our developing and emerging
markets.

In general, conditions have become more challenging but our business is
naturally resilient and has been further strengthened by the Path to Growth
programme which focuses our resources. Successfully managing our operations
through periods of economic difficulty has always been one of Unilever's core
strengths. We remain confident of achieving our targets.'

N W A FitzGerald                       A Burgmans
Chairman, Unilever PLC                 Chairman, Unilever N.V.

2 November, 2001

THIRD QUARTER AND NINE MONTHS FINANCIAL RESULTS (at constant rates of
exchange)

Operating profit before exceptional items and amortisation of goodwill and
intangibles (beia) increased by 25% for the quarter and by 31% for the year to
date. Operating margin (beia) was 15.7% in the quarter, an increase of 160
basis points, and 13.7% for the year to date.

Exceptional items in the quarter relating to the Path to Growth programme and
Bestfoods integration were Euro329 million. On a year to date basis, charges
of Euro814 million were offset by the exceptional profit on the sale of brands
in the second quarter leaving the cumulative position flat. Associated costs
were Euro82 million in the quarter and Euro266 million for the year to date.

Amortisation of goodwill and intangibles was Euro355 million in the quarter
with Euro297 million related to the acquisition of Bestfoods. For the year to
date these were Euro1,068 million and Euro890 million respectively.

Net interest was Euro430 million for the quarter, an increase of Euro353
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 47.5%, which reflects the fact that
Bestfoods goodwill amortisation is not tax deductible. The underlying tax rate
for normal trading operations is 34%.

Including the effect of higher exceptional items and goodwill amortisation,
net profit in the quarter decreased by Euro379 million, or by 44%. Year to
date net profit decreased by Euro468 million, or by 22%, as a result of higher
goodwill amortisation. Before exceptional items and goodwill amortisation, net
profit increased by 5% in the quarter, and by 3% for the year to date.

Earnings per share (beia) rose by 6% in the quarter and by 4% for the year to
date. Earnings per share fell by 44% in the quarter and by 22 % in the year to
date, reflecting the movements in net profit described earlier.

THIRD 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. Leading brands growth rates
exclude acquisitions and disposals.

Europe:

Strong growth in both sales and profits.

Total sales were ahead by 9% with an underlying sales growth of 6%. Sales grew
broadly across categories and there was continuing progress in Central &
Eastern Europe. Ice cream and Ready-to-Drink Tea contributed two percentage
points of underlying sales growth, helped by a better summer. Ice cream was
also boosted by innovations such as Carte d'Or Artisanal and Cornetto Soft
Ice.

In Western Europe our leading brands moved ahead by 6.5% in the quarter and by
4.0% on a moving annual total basis.

Among the key highlights in the sales development of our business were:

- Underlying sales growth of 3.5% in Spreads and Cooking Products due to the
continued success of pro*activ, Bertolli Olive Oil based Spreads and the
roll-out of Culinesse.

- The expansion of snacking products and our high quality convenient meal
concept 4 Salti in Padella in Frozen Foods which resulted in an underlying
sales growth of 3%.

- Underlying sales growth of 4% in Home and Personal Care with good growth in
Personal Care (+9%) and Household Care (+6%). Drivers were: Dove, with a
particularly strong performance from face wipes, and Lynx and Sure in the UK
Deodorants market. In Hair we launched Dove shampoo in Italy and continued to
see good growth from Timotei. Cif and Domestos easy-to-use wipes continued to
make good progress. In Oral Care underlying sales grew 6% through the
increasing contribution from electric toothbrushes and chewing gum.

In Central and Eastern Europe we have seen underlying sales growth of 7%
through the launch of soups and Delmy mayonnaise, and growth of Tea in Russia.
Household Care and Skin Care brands performed strongly across the region.

Operating margins of 17.5% are 210 bps ahead of last year reflecting
continuing progress in Central & Eastern Europe, the benefits of Path to
Growth, and the contribution from portfolio changes.

North America:

Acquisitions contribute strongly to sales growth and operating margins remain
robust.

Sales grew by 15% with a strong contribution from acquisitions. Overall
underlying sales growth was 2%, depressed two percentage points by lower sales
of Prestige Fragrances. Our mass Home and Personal Care and Foods businesses
performed well with underlying sales growth of 4%.

Our leading brands grew by 2.7% in the quarter and by 3.7% on a moving annual
total basis.

In Laundry we saw good volume growth of 5%, partly offset by price reductions.
Volume growth was lifted by the performance of our 'sensible shopper' brand
all. In Skin Care we moved underlying sales ahead by 8% through innovations
behind Dove and Suave bar soaps and the recently launched Dove face cloths.
Underlying sales growth of 5% in Deodorants was achieved with a key
contribution from Dove. In daily Hair Care we have retained our market
leadership.

In Foods there were excellent performances from Ice cream where sales were
ahead 11% including an increase of 8% in Ben & Jerry's, and from Slim*Fast
where sales rose by 19%. Operating margins in our Ice cream business have
improved, in spite of the significant increase in butter fat prices. In our
Culinary brands we saw good growth from Ragu with the launch of Ragu Express,
a new Italian style easy to prepare snack, and from both Ragu and Wishbone
following promotional activity.

Operating margin at 15.6% is flat against the prior year with the benefits of
Path to Growth and portfolio change being offset by the loss of contribution
from Prestige Fragrances.

Africa, Middle East AND TURKEY:

Resilient profit performance in spite of market conditions in Turkey.

Sales growth was 12% in the quarter of which 6 percentage points came from
underlying sales, driven by Laundry, Tea, Skin, and Oral. Strongest country
contributions came from Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. Price growth was
strong in the quarter reflecting our actions to restore margin structures in
Turkey. We also took action to recover cost increases in countries suffering
devaluation, most notably South Africa.

Our leading brands grew by 8.0% in the quarter and by 7.8% on a moving annual
total basis.

Operating margin, at 12%, is 60 bps behind last year due to poorer market
conditions in Turkey.

Asia and Pacific:

Sales and margins increased despite slower economic growth.

Sales are ahead by 6% with nearly 5 percentage points coming from underlying
sales growth. We have seen strong underlying price increases as key countries
have recovered currency related cost increases.

Our leading brands grew by 6.2% in the quarter and by 7.8% on a moving annual
total basis.

In East Asia Pacific we continue to see good underlying sales growth of 8%
driven by ongoing progress in Japan through the launch of Dove shampoo, the
relaunch of Lux shampoo, and the second phase of the Lipton Ready-to-Drink
expansion. Growth has been further enhanced by the launch of Dove facial foam
in Thailand and the Philippines and the continued success of Dove shampoo in
Korea.

In India underlying sales have grown 5% with our Home and Personal Care
business leading the way. Household Care was particularly strong with the
relaunch of Vim bars, and in Laundry Hindustan Lever took the two leading
positions for the first time. In Hair we saw 18% underlying sales growth
through the relaunch of Clinic and Lux. In Tea our underlying sales declined
as we withdrew from the tail of brands particularly in the low priced segment.

Operating margin at 13.7% is 120 bps up on last year through savings from
restructuring and procurement programmes.

Latin America:

Profits move ahead strongly despite weaker markets.

Sales have moved ahead by 34%, including 31% from acquisitions and disposals.

Leading brands have grown by 5.5% in the quarter and by 8.3% on a moving
annual total basis.

In Mexico, our business continued to grow in low double digits despite a
slowing economy. This was largely driven by the successful roll-out of Sedal
shampoo and a continued strong contribution from Ice cream.

In the Southern Cone, economic conditions remain difficult with markets in
Argentina declining and devaluation of Brazil's Real leading to a need for
aggressive pricing action. We have continued to gain share in Laundry and in
Brazil our Personal Care business has continued to grow through innovations in
Deodorants.

Operating margin improved to 14.7%. This was the result of the benefits from
procurement and restructuring savings, increased Ice cream profitability, a
less intense competitive environment in Laundry and the benefits of portfolio
change.

Whilst we do not expect any short-term improvement in business conditions in
this region we are well accustomed to managing our business through periods of
volatility whether of currencies or markets.

INTERIM DIVIDEND

In accordance with the interim dividend policy, the interim dividend has been
set at 35% of last year's total dividend, based on the stronger of the two
reporting currencies of our parent companies, Euro and Sterling, over the
first nine months, which for this period was Euro. The interim dividend, to be
paid on 17 December 2001, is therefore fixed at 4.65p per 1.4p ordinary share
of Unilever PLC, an increase of 6% from last year. The interim dividend per
Fl. 1.12 ordinary share of Unilever N.V. is set at Euro 0.50, an increase of
4% from last year. The Unilever PLC shares will go ex-dividend on 14 November
2001, and the Unilever N.V. shares will go ex-dividend on 5 November 2001.

CASH FLOW / BALANCE SHEET

Cash flow from operations for the first nine months of Euro5.2 billion was
Euro0.7 billion above the corresponding period last year. This was driven by
strong underlying earnings growth and the contribution from acquisitions.

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.

Net proceeds from disposals include Euro0.2 billion from the sale of Elizabeth
Arden, Euro1.0 billion for the sale of brands to Campbell's and Euro1.9
billion from the sale of the Bestfoods Baking Company.

Net debt has decreased by Euro3.6 billion since 31 December, 2000 reflecting
the proceeds of disposals and on-going cash generation.

Capital and reserves decreased by Euro0.2 billion. Net profit of Euro1.6
billion and goodwill write-backs on disposals of Euro0.1 billion are reduced
by a negative currency retranslation of Euro1.0 billion, by purchases of own
shares of Euro0.4 billion and the interim dividend of Euro0.5 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.

    Third Quarter     Euro Millions - constant                Nine Months
  2001   2000 % Incr.                                      2001    2000 % Incr
                 /                                                         /
                                                                        (Decr.)
              (Decr.)
13,568 12,020    13 % TOTAL TURNOVER                     40,001  34,532    16 %
 (195)  (101)         Less: Share of turnover of joint    (524)   (270)
                      ventures
13,373 11,919    12 % GROUP TURNOVER                     39,477  34,262    15 %
 1,423  1,554    (8)% GROUP OPERATING PROFIT              4,375   3,619    21 %
 2,097  1,683    25 % Group operating profit beia *       5,416   4,165    30 %
 (329)   (73)         Exceptional items                     (1)   (468)
 (345)   (56)         Amortisation of goodwill and      (1,040)    (78)
                      intangibles
    18     12         Add: Share of operating profit of      53      34
                      joint ventures
 1,441  1,566    (8)% TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT              4,428   3,653    21 %
 2,125  1,695    25 % Total operating profit beia *       5,497   4,199    31 %
 (329)   (73)         Exceptional items                     (1)   (468)
 (355)   (56)         Amortisation of goodwill and      (1,068)    (78)
                      intangibles
     3    (2)         Other income from fixed                 7       -
                      investments
 (430)   (77)         Interest                          (1,279)   (167)
 1,014  1,487   (32)% PROFIT BEFORE TAXATION              3,156   3,486    (9)%
 (482)  (570)         Taxation                          (1,335) (1,236)
   532    917   (42)% PROFIT AFTER TAXATION               1,821   2,250   (19)%
  (56)   (62)         Minority Interests                  (191)   (152)
   476    855   (44)% NET PROFIT AT CONSTANT 2000         1,630   2,098   (22)%
                      EXCHANGE RATES
 1,053  1,001     5 % Net Profit before exceptional       2,596   2,516     3 %
                      items & amortisation of goodwill
                      and intangibles (Constant rates)
   493    854   (42)% NET PROFIT AT EXCHANGE RATES        1,608   2,089   (23)%
                      CURRENT IN EACH PERIOD
 1,034    996     4 % Net Profit before exceptional       2,547   2,501     2 %
                      items & amortisation of goodwill
                      and intangibles (Current rates)
                      COMBINED EARNINGS PER SHARE
                      (Current rates)
  0.49   0.85   (42)% - per Fl. 1.12 ordinary share        1.60    2.08   (23)%
                      (Euros)
  0.47   0.83   (43)% - per Fl. 1.12 ordinary share -      1.55    2.03   (23)%
                      diluted (Euros)
  7.36  12.77   (42)% - per 1.4p ordinary share (Euro     23.97   31.18   (23)%
                      cents)
  7.16  12.45   (43)% - per 1.4p ordinary share -         23.32   30.41   (23)%
                      diluted (Euro cents)

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

STATEMENT OF TOTAL RECOGNISED GAINS AND LOSSES (unaudited)
Euro Millions                                                    Nine Months
                                                                  2001    2000
Net profit                                                       1,608   2,089
Currency retranslation                                           (967)     437
Total recognised gains / (losses) since last annual accounts       641   2,526

MOVEMENTS IN SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY (unaudited)
Euro Millions                                                       Nine Months
                                                                     2001  2000
Shareholders' equity as at 1 January                                8,169 7,761
Net profit                                                          1,608 2,089
Dividends                                                           (520) (497)
Goodwill movements                                                    132   241
Currency retranslation                                              (968)   414
Change of book value of shares or certificates of shares held in    (418) (223)
connection with share options
Shareholders' equity as at end period                               8,003 9,785

SUMMARY BALANCE SHEET (unaudited)
Euro Millions
                                    As at 29th      As at 31st      As at 30th
                                     September        December       September
                                          2001            2000            2000
Goodwill and intangibles                25,240          26,467           4,452
Acquired businesses held for                 -           1,666               -
resale
Fixed assets                            10,274          10,996           9,289
Stocks                                   5,631           5,421           5,230
Debtors                                  9,910           9,817           9,869
Cash and current investments             3,388           3,273          20,981
Trade & other creditors               (12,894)        (12,708)        (11,027)
                                        41,549          44,932          38,794
Borrowings                              26,256          29,741          22,806
Provisions for liabilities and           6,704           6,404           5,538
charges
Minority interests                         586             618             665
Capital and reserves                     8,003           8,169           9,785
                                        41,549          44,932          38,794

CASH FLOW STATEMENT (unaudited)
Euro Millions                                                    Nine Months
                                                                  2001     2000
Cash flow from operating activities                              5,217    4,468
Dividends from joint ventures                                       45       19
Returns on investments and servicing of finance                (1,392)    (238)
Taxation                                                       (1,288)  (1,116)
Capital expenditure and financial investment                   (1,138)    (849)
Acquisitions and disposals                                       3,219  (3,327)
Dividends paid on ordinary share capital                         (927)    (877)
CASH INFLOW / (OUTFLOW) BEFORE MANAGEMENT OF LIQUID RESOURCES    3,736  (1,920)
AND FINANCING
Management of liquid resources                                     398 (13,273)
Financing                                                      (3,940)   17,406
INCREASE / (DECREASE) IN CASH IN THE PERIOD                        194    2,213

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                       194     2,213
Cash flow from (increase)/decrease in borrowings                3,935  (17,425)
Cash flow from increase/(decrease) in liquid resources          (398)    13,273
Change in net funds / (debt) resulting from cash flows          3,731   (1,939)
Borrowings within group companies acquired                          -      (92)
Borrowings within group companies sold                              1         -
Liquid resources within group companies acquired                    -         8
Liquid resources within group companies sold                        -         -
Non cash movements                                               (24)     (145)
Currency retranslation                                          (108)     (341)
MOVEMENT IN NET FUNDS / (DEBT) IN THE PERIOD                    3,600   (2,509)
NET FUNDS / (DEBT) AT PERIOD END                             (22,868)   (1,825)

GEOGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS (CONSTANT)
    Third Quarter     Euro Millions                            Nine Months
              % Incr.                                                   % Incr.
                 /                                                         /
  2001   2000 (Decr.)                                       2001   2000 (Decr.)
13,568 12,020    13 % TOTAL TURNOVER                      40,001 34,532    16 %
 5,231  4,803         Europe                              15,328 14,015
 3,458  3,005    15 % North America                       10,230  8,283    23 %
 1,007    896    12 % Africa, Middle East and Turkey       2,847  2,526
 2,120  2,004     6 % Asia and Pacific                     6,343  5,924     7 %
 1,752  1,312         Latin America                        5,253  3,784
 2,125  1,695    25 % TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT - before      5,497  4,199    31 %
                      exceptional items and amortisation
                      of goodwill and intangibles
   914    740    23 % Europe                               2,322  1,935    20 %
   541    469    15 % North America                        1,355    971    40 %
   121    113         Africa, Middle East and Turkey         315    251    26 %
   290    250    16 % Asia and Pacific                       825    681    21 %
   259    123   111 % Latin America                          680    361    89 %
 15.7%  14.1%         TOTAL OPERATING MARGIN - before      13.7%  12.2%
                      exceptional items and amortisation
                      of goodwill and intangibles
 17.5%  15.4%         Europe                               15.1%  13.8%
 15.6%  15.6%         North America                        13.2%  11.7%
 12.0%  12.6%         Africa, Middle East and Turkey       11.1%   9.9%
 13.7%  12.5%         Asia and Pacific                     13.0%  11.5%
 14.7%   9.3%         Latin America                        12.9%   9.5%



OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS (CONSTANT)
    Third Quarter     Euro Millions                            Nine Months
              % Incr.                                                   % Incr.
                 /                                                         /
  2001   2000 (Decr.)                                       2001   2000 (Decr.)
13,568 12,020    13 % TOTAL TURNOVER                      40,001 34,532    16 %
 7,442  5,890    26 % Foods                               22,048 17,005    30 %
 2,148  2,022     6 % Oil and dairy based foods and        6,439  5,620    15 %
                      bakery
 2,347  2,178         Ice cream and beverages              6,482  6,242
 2,947  1,690    74 % Culinary and frozen products         9,127  5,143    77 %
 2,743  2,643     4 % Home Care and Professional Cleaning  8,164  7,673
 3,235  3,273    (1)% Personal Care                        9,332  9,214     1 %
   148    214         Other Operations                       457    640
 2,125  1,695    25 % TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT - before      5,497  4,199    31 %
                      exceptional

                      items and amortisation of goodwill
                      and intangibles
 1,173    805    46 % Foods                                3,073  2,042
   288    287     1 % Oil and dairy based foods and          880    733    20 %
                      bakery
   392    318    24 % Ice cream and beverages                832    763     9 %
   493    200   146 % Culinary and frozen products         1,361    546   150 %
   295    283     4 % Home Care and Professional Cleaning    731    708
   666    599         Personal Care                        1,672  1,434    17 %
   (9)      8  (217)% Other Operations                        21     15
15.7 % 14.1 %         TOTAL OPERATING MARGIN - before     13.7 % 12.2 %
                      exceptional items and amortisation
                      of goodwill and intangibles
15.8 %                Foods                               13.9 %
13.4 %                Oil and dairy based foods and       13.7 %
                      bakery
16.7 %                Ice cream and beverages             12.8 %
16.7 %                Culinary and frozen products        14.9 %
10.7 %                Home Care and Professional Cleaning  8.9 %
20.6 %                Personal Care                       17.9 %
(6.0)%                Other Operations                     4.6 %

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:

     Third Quarter                        Nine Months
2001 Euro1 = £0.62 = US $0.89             Euro1 = £0.62 = US $0.89
2000 Euro1 = £0.61 = US $0.91             Euro1 = £0.61 = US $0.94

The balance sheet figures have been translated at period-end rates of
exchange. For our reporting currencies these were :

End September 2001                Euro1 = £0.62 = US $0.92
End December 2000                 Euro1 = £0.62 = US $0.93
End September 2000                Euro1 = £0.60 = US $0.88

Current Rates of Exchange

For the first nine months in current rates of exchange: Total turnover is Euro
39,158 million (15% increase); Operating profit beia is Euro5,387 million (29%
increase); Operating profit is Euro4,347 million (20% increase); Interest is a
charge of Euro1,257 million (compared with a charge of Euro158 million last
year); Pre-tax profit is Euro3,097 million (11% decrease); Net profit is Euro
1,608 million (23% decrease); Net profit beia is Euro2,547 million (2%
increase); Earnings per share beia is Euro2.55 per NV share (2% increase);
Earnings per share is Euro1.60 per NV share (23% decrease).

Acquisitions

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

Disposals

On 2 October, 2001 we announced that the sale of our North American seafood
business to Nippon Suisan (USA), Inc, a subsidiary of Nippon Suisan Kaisha
Limited for US$175 million in cash, had been completed. This business
comprises the Gorton's business in the United States and the BlueWater
Seafoods business in Canada. Together the businesses had net sales of US$250
million in 2000.

Acquired businesses held for resale

A number of Bestfoods businesses were 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, were included within '
Acquired businesses held for resale'. All of these businesses have now been
sold and any differences between actual and estimated proceeds have been
adjusted in goodwill. The results of these businesses 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.

Interim Dividends

The Boards today declared interim dividends in respect of 2001 on the ordinary
shares at the following rates which are equivalent in value at the rate of
exchange applied under the terms of the Equalisation Agreement between the two
companies:

N.V.

Per ordinary share Euro0.50 (2000: Euro0.48)

PLC

Per ordinary share 4.65p (2000: 4.40p)

The N.V. interim dividend will be payable as from December 17, 2001, to
shareholders registered at close of business on November 2, 2001.

The PLC interim dividend will be paid on December 17, 2001, to shareholders
registered at close of business on November 16, 2001.

DIVIDEND ON NEW YORK SHARES OF N.V.

The N.V. interim dividend, when converted at the Euro/Dollar European Central
Bank rate of exchange on November 1, 2001, represents US$ 0.454850 per New
York Share of Fl. 1.12 (2000: US$ 0.415008) before deduction of Netherlands
withholding tax. US dollar checks for the interim dividend, after deduction of
Netherlands withholding tax at the appropriate rate, will be mailed on
December 17, 2001, to holders of record of New York shares at the close of
business on November 9, 2001.

DIVIDEND ON AMERICAN SHARES OF PLC

Each American share of PLC represents four 1.4p Ordinary shares of PLC. The
PLC interim dividend will therefore be 18.60p per American Share. If converted
at the noon Sterling/Dollar rate of exchange in London on November 1, 2001,
the interim dividend for holders resident in the US would therefore be US$
0.2724 per American Share. (2000: US$ 0.2573).

US dollar checks for the interim dividend converted at the Sterling/Dollar
rate of exchange current in London on December 17, 2001 will be mailed on
December 24, 2001 to holders of record of American shares at the close of
business on November 16, 2001.

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 share units    983,181   989,573   983,181   989,573
of Fl. 1.12
Average number of combined share units  6,554,541 6,597,155 6,554,541 6,597,155
of 1.4p
COMBINED EPS
Net profit                                  1,630     2,098     1,608     2,089
Less: Preference dividends                     37        32        37        32
Net profit attributable to ordinary         1,593     2,066     1,571     2,057
capital
Combined EPS per Fl. 1.12 (Euros)            1.62      2.09      1.60      2.08
Combined EPS per 1.4p (Euro cents)          24.30     31.34     23.97     31.18
COMBINED EPS - BEIA
Net profit                                  1,630     2,098     1,608     2,089
Add back exceptional items net of tax         (49)      356       (67)      352
Add back amortisation of goodwill / 
intangibles net of                          1,031        62     1,023        60
tax
Add back exceptional items in minority 
interests net of                              (16)        -       (17)        -
tax
Net profit beia                             2,596     2,516     2,547     2,501
Less: Preference dividends                     37        32        37        32
Net profit attributable to ordinary 
capital - beia                              2,559     2,484     2,510     2,469
Combined EPS beia per Fl. 1.12 (Euros)       2.60      2.51      2.55      2.50
Combined EPS beia per 1.4p (Euro cents)     39.03     37.66     38.29     37.43
COMBINED EPS - Diluted
                                                  Thousands of units
Adjusted average combined share units   1,010,632 1,014,722 1,010,632 1,014,722
of Fl. 1.12
Adjusted average combined share units   6,737,550 6,764,814 6,737,550 6,764,814
of 1.4p
Net profit attributable to ordinary         1,593     2,066     1,571     2,057
capital
Combined diluted EPS per Fl. 1.12            1.58      2.04      1.55      2.03
(Euros)
Combined diluted EPS per 1.4p (Euro         23.64     30.55     23.32     30.41
cents)

Dates

Salient figures from the above results will be published in the Financial
Times and Daily Telegraph on 3 November, 2001.

The provisional results for the fourth quarter and for the year 2001 and the
proposed final dividends will be published on Thursday 14 February, 2002.

2 November, 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.

   Third Quarter    £ Millions - constant                      Nine Months
 2001  2000 % Incr.                                         2001   2000 % Incr
               /                                                           /
                                                                        (Decr.)
            (Decr.)
8,259 7,317    13 % TOTAL TURNOVER                        24,349 21,020    16 %
(119)  (61)         Less: Share of turnover of joint       (319)  (164)
                    ventures
8,140 7,256    12 % GROUP TURNOVER                        24,030 20,856    15 %
  867   946    (8)% GROUP OPERATING PROFIT                 2,663  2,203    21 %
1,277 1,025    25 % Group operating profit beia *          3,297  2,535    30 %
(200)  (45)         Exceptional items                        (1)  (284)
(210)  (34)         Amortisation of goodwill and           (633)   (48)
                    intangibles
   11     6         Add: Share of operating profit of         32     20
                    joint ventures
  878   952    (8)% TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT                 2,695  2,223    21 %
1,293 1,031    25 % Total operating profit beia *          3,346  2,555    31 %
(200)  (45)         Exceptional items                        (1)  (284)
(215)  (34)         Amortisation of goodwill and           (650)   (48)
                    intangibles
    1     -         Other income from fixed investments        4      1
(261)  (47)         Interest                               (778)  (102)
  618   905   (32)% PROFIT BEFORE TAXATION                 1,921  2,122    (9)%
(294) (346)         Taxation                               (813)  (751)
  324   559   (42)% PROFIT AFTER TAXATION                  1,108  1,371   (19)%
 (34)  (38)         Minority Interests                     (116)   (93)
  290   521   (44)% NET PROFIT AT CONSTANT 2000 EXCHANGE     992  1,278   (22)%
                    RATES
  641   610     5 % Net Profit before exceptional items &  1,580  1,531     3 %
                    amortisation of goodwill and
                    intangibles (Constant rates)
  306   522   (42)% NET PROFIT AT EXCHANGE RATES CURRENT   1,001  1,278   (22)%
                    IN EACH PERIOD
  642   611     5 % Net Profit before exceptional items &  1,584  1,530     4 %
                    amortisation of goodwill and
                    intangibles (Current rates)
                    COMBINED EARNINGS PER SHARE (Current
                    rates)
4.57p 7.81p   (42)% - per 1.4p ordinary share             14.91p 19.07p   (22)%
4.44p 7.61p   (42)% - per 1.4p ordinary share - diluted   14.51p 18.60p   (22)%

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

STATEMENT OF TOTAL RECOGNISED GAINS AND LOSSES (unaudited)
£ Millions                                                        Nine Months
                                                                  2001     2000
Net profit                                                       1,001    1,278
Currency retranslation                                           (600)       91
Total recognised gains / (losses) since last annual accounts       401    1,369

MOVEMENTS IN SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY (unaudited)
£ Millions                                                          Nine Months
                                                                     2001  2000
Shareholders' equity as at 1 January                                5,095 4,825
Net profit                                                          1,001 1,278
Dividends                                                           (324) (304)
Goodwill movements                                                     82   147
Currency retranslation                                              (602)    52
Change of book value of shares or certificates of shares held in          (136)
connection with share options
                                                                    (260)
Shareholders' equity as at end period                               4,992 5,862

SUMMARY BALANCE SHEET (unaudited)
£ Millions
                                    As at 29th      As at 31st      As at 30th
                                     September        December       September
                                          2001            2000            2000
Goodwill and intangibles                15,745          16,508           2,667
Acquired businesses held for                 -           1,039               -
resale
Fixed assets                             6,409           6,858           5,565
Stocks                                   3,513           3,381           3,133
Debtors                                  6,182           6,123           5,913
Cash and current investments             2,114           2,042          12,570
Trade & other creditors                (8,044)         (7,926)         (6,606)
                                        25,919          28,025          23,242
Borrowings                              16,378          18,549          13,663
Provisions for liabilities and           4,183           3,995           3,318
charges
Minority interests                         366             386             399
Capital and reserves                     4,992           5,095           5,862
                                        25,919          28,025          23,242

CASH FLOW STATEMENT (unaudited)
£ Millions                                                        Nine Months
                                                                   2001    2000
Cash flow from operating activities                               3,245   2,734
Dividends from joint ventures                                        28      11
Returns on investments and servicing of finance                   (866)   (145)
Taxation                                                          (801)   (683)
Capital expenditure and financial investment                      (707)   (520)
Acquisitions and disposals                                        2,001 (2,034)
Dividends paid on ordinary share capital                          (577)   (536)
CASH INFLOW / (OUTFLOW) BEFORE MANAGEMENT OF LIQUID RESOURCES     2,323 (1,173)
AND FINANCING
Management of liquid resources                                      247 (8,119)
Financing                                                       (2,451)  10,647
INCREASE / (DECREASE) IN CASH IN THE PERIOD                         119   1,355

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                       119     1,355
Cash flow from (increase)/decrease in borrowings                2,448  (10,659)
Cash flow from increase/(decrease) in liquid resources          (247)     8,119
Change in net funds / (debt) resulting from cash flows          2,320   (1,185)
Borrowings within group companies acquired                          -      (56)
Borrowings within group companies sold                              1         -
Liquid resources within group companies acquired                    -         5
Liquid resources within group companies sold                        -         -
Non cash movements                                               (15)      (89)
Currency retranslation                                           (63)     (193)
MOVEMENT IN NET FUNDS / (DEBT) IN THE PERIOD                    2,243   (1,518)
NET FUNDS / (DEBT) AT PERIOD END                             (14,264)   (1,093)

GEOGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS (CONSTANT)
   Third Quarter    £ Millions                                 Nine Months
            % Incr.                                                     % Incr.
               /                                                           /
 2001  2000 (Decr.)                                         2001   2000 (Decr.)
8,259 7,317    13 % TOTAL TURNOVER                        24,349 21,020    16 %
3,184 2,924         Europe                                 9,330  8,531
2,105 1,829    15 % North America                          6,227  5,042    23 %
  613   546    12 % Africa, Middle East and Turkey         1,733  1,538
1,290 1,219     6 % Asia and Pacific                       3,861  3,606     7 %
1,067   799         Latin America                          3,198  2,303
1,293 1,031    25 % TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT - before        3,346  2,555    31 %
                    exceptional items and amortisation of
                    goodwill and intangibles
  556   450    23 % Europe                                 1,413  1,178    20 %
  329   286    15 % North America                            825    591    40 %
   74    69         Africa, Middle East and Turkey           192    153    26 %
  177   152    16 % Asia and Pacific                         502    414    21 %
  157    74   111 % Latin America                            414    219    89 %
15.7% 14.1%         TOTAL OPERATING MARGIN - before        13.7%  12.2%
                    exceptional items and amortisation of
                    goodwill and intangibles
17.5% 15.4%         Europe                                 15.1%  13.8%
15.6% 15.6%         North America                          13.2%  11.7%
12.0% 12.6%         Africa, Middle East and Turkey         11.1%   9.9%
13.7% 12.5%         Asia and Pacific                       13.0%  11.5%
14.7%  9.3%         Latin America                          12.9%   9.5%

OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS (CONSTANT)
   Third Quarter    £ Millions                                 Nine Months
            % Incr.                                                     % Incr.
               /                                                           /
 2001  2000 (Decr.)                                         2001   2000 (Decr.)
8,259 7,317    13 % TOTAL TURNOVER                        23,349 21,020    16 %
4,531 3,585    26 % Foods                                 13,422 10,351    30 %
1,308 1,231     6 % Oil and dairy based foods and bakery   3,920  3,421    15 %
1,429 1,325         Ice cream and beverages                3,946  3,799
1,794 1,029    74 % Culinary and frozen products           5,556  3,131    77 %
1,669 1,609     4 % Home Care and Professional Cleaning    4,969  4,671
1,969 1,993    (1)% Personal Care                          5,680  5,609     1 %
   90   130         Other Operations                         278    389
1,293 1,031    25 % TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT - before        3,346  2,555    31 %
                    exceptional

                    items and amortisation of goodwill
                    and intangibles
  714   490    46 % Foods                                  1,871  1,244
  175   175     1 % Oil and dairy based foods and bakery     536    448    20 %
  239   193    24 % Ice cream and beverages                  507    464     9 %
  300   122   146 % Culinary and frozen products             828    332   150 %
  179   172     4 % Home Care and Professional Cleaning      444    431
  405   364         Personal Care                          1,018    872    17 %
  (5)     5  (217)% Other Operations                          13      8    45 %
 15.7% 14.1%        TOTAL OPERATING MARGIN - before       13.7 % 12.2 %
                   exceptional items and amortisation of
                    goodwill and intangibles
 15.8%              Foods                                 13.9 %
    
 13.4%              Oil and dairy based foods and bakery  13.7 %
    
 16.7%              Ice cream and beverages               12.8 %
    
 16.7%              Culinary and frozen products          14.9 %
    
 10.7%              Home Care and Professional Cleaning    8.9 %
    
 20.65              Personal Care                         17.9 %
    
(6.0)%              Other Operations                       4.6 %
    

Earnings per share in Sterling
                                          Constant rates       Current rates
                                             2001      2000      2001      2000
                                                  Thousands of units
Average number of combined share units  6,554,541 6,597,155 6,554,541 6,597,155
of 1.4p
COMBINED EPS
Net profit                                    992     1,278     1,001     1,278
Less: Preference dividends                     23        19        23        20
Net profit attributable to ordinary           969     1,259       978     1,258
capital
Combined EPS per 1.4p                      14.79p    19.07p    14.91p    19.07p
COMBINED EPS - BEIA
Net profit                                   992     1,278     1,001     1,278
Add back exceptional items net of tax        (31)      216       (43)      215
Add back amortisation of goodwill / 
intangibles net                              629        37       636        37
of tax
Add back exceptional items in minority 
interests                                    (10)        -       (10)        -
net of tax
Net profit beia                            1,580     1,531     1,584     1,530
Less: Preference dividends                    23        19        23        20
Net profit attributable to ordinary
 capital - beia                            1,557     1,512     1,561     1,510
Combined EPS beia per 1.4p                 23.76p    22.92p    23.82p    22.90p
COMBINED EPS - Diluted
                                                  Thousands of units
Adjusted average combined share units   6,737,550 6,764,814 6,737,550 6,764,814
of 1.4p
Net profit attributable to ordinary           969     1,259       978     1,258
capital
Combined diluted EPS per 1.4p              14.39p    18.61p    14.51p    18.60p