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Unilever PLC (ULVR)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Thursday 04 May, 2006

Unilever PLC

1st Quarter Results

Unilever PLC
04 May 2006

                           FIRST QUARTER RESULTS 2006

Unilever on-track to meet objectives for 2006.


€ million                                              First Quarter 2006
                                                 Current Current Constant
                                                   rates   rates    rates

Continuing operations:
Turnover                                           9 535      9%       2%
Operating profit                                   1 410      7%       0%
Pre-tax profit                                     1 310     10%       5%
Net profit from continuing operations              1 001     10%       5%
Net profit from total operations                   1 059      8%       3%

                                   NV (€)   PLC (€ cents)
EPS from continuing operations      0.97           14.56      9%       4%
EPS from total operations           1.03           15.47      7%       2%


 •  Turnover ahead by 8.6%, benefiting from 6.3% favourable currency

 •  Underlying sales up by 2.9%, mostly volume, with pricing contributing 0.5
    percentage points.

 •  Strong savings offset cost increases.

 •  Operating margin at 14.8%, 0.2 percentage points lower, with increased
    investment in advertising and promotions.

 •  Earnings per share from continuing operations up by 9%.


Our priorities for 2006 are to sustain top line growth and improve margins. With
the first quarter performance we are on track to achieve these objectives and
our aggregate market share remains broadly stable since the start of last year.

The business environment has developed largely as expected. Overall world
consumer demand is robust, although Western Europe remains sluggish and we have
seen a recent renewed upsurge in some commodity prices.

We are investing behind our priorities and this is reflected in good progress in
the first quarter in Developing and Emerging markets, in personal care and from
Vitality innovations.

In Western Europe, we are maintaining market share and there are some
encouraging signs of improvement as work continues to return the business to
sustainable growth.

The move to One Unilever organisation around the world is progressing well and
increasingly contributing to faster decision making, better execution and an
impressive overall delivery of cost reductions.

As I look forward to the rest of the year, a strong innovation programme, the
actions we have been taking on pricing and the level of cost savings, all give
me confidence that we will meet our outlook.

Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive

4 May 2006

The condensed interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) as adopted by the EU. These
are the same accounting policies as those used for preparation of the Annual
Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2005. The condensed interim
financial statements, which comply with IAS 34, are shown at current exchange
rates, while percentage year-on-year changes are shown at both current and
constant exchange rates to facilitate comparison.

In the following commentary, sales growth is stated on an underlying basis at
constant exchange rates and excluding the effects of acquisitions and disposals.
Turnover includes the impact of exchange rates and acquisitions and disposals.

Unilever uses 'constant rate' and 'underlying' measures primarily for internal
performance analysis and targeting purposes. Unilever believes that such
measures provide additional information for shareholders on underlying business
performance trends. Such measures are not defined under IFRSs or US GAAP and are
not intended to be a substitute for GAAP measures of turnover, profit and cash

The frozen foods businesses in Western Europe which are planned to be sold have
been treated as discontinued operations, together with the results of Unilever
Cosmetics International, which was sold in the middle of last year. Restated
figures for all quarters of 2005 are available at


The commentary on financial results is on the basis of continuing operations,
compared with the same quarter of last year, except where otherwise stated.

Turnover increased by 8.6%. Underlying sales grew by 2.9%, including an
increasing contribution from pricing, which was up 0.5% in the quarter.
Favourable currency movements added 6.3%, with disposals accounting for the
remainder of the change in turnover.

Advertising and promotions as a percentage of turnover increased by 0.3 points.
Pricing actions and a substantial level of savings from our cost improvement
programmes compensated for higher commodity costs and general inflation.

Operating margin at 14.8% was 0.2 percentage points lower than a year ago. The
margin this quarter included a favourable 0.6 percentage points from disposal
profits less restructuring costs, slightly higher than the level in the same
quarter last year. Before the impact of these items, and on a comparable basis,
the operating margin would have been 0.3 percentage points lower than a year

Net finance costs were lower than last year, with a benefit to pensions
financing from higher asset values and a lower level of net debt.

The tax rate, at 24%, was only slightly higher than the 23% in the same quarter
last year which benefited from a number of non-recurring items. The low rate
this quarter included a better country mix and other improvements.

Net profit from continuing operations increased by 10%, while total net profit,
including discontinued operations, grew by 8%.

Earnings per share from continuing operations increased by 9%, with a favourable
5% from currency movements.


The outlook for the year is reconfirmed, notwithstanding the restatement of
frozen foods businesses planned for sale as discontinued operations. Our
priorities are to sustain top line growth and improve our margins. We continue
to expect to increase operating margin to above 13.4%. This takes into account
the impact of the change in discontinued operations, which lowers the 2005
operating margin to 13.2%, offset by the benefit of disposal profits in the
first quarter of this year. We continue to expect gross restructuring costs of
around one percentage point of sales.

Given the low tax rate achieved in the first quarter, the rate for the year is
now expected to be around 26%.


During the quarter there was a net increase in cash and cash equivalents of €0.3
billion. Net cash flow from operating activities was €0.2 billion lower,
including a higher seasonal outflow of working capital compared with the same
period last year. €0.2 billion lower net cash flow from investing activities was
more than offset by €0.5 billion lower net cash flow used in financing
activities, mainly due to purchases of treasury stock last year.


Goodwill and intangibles have decreased by €0.2 billion since the start of the
year, mainly due to currency movements. Inventories and trade receivables were
€0.6 billion higher, reflecting seasonal build-up in ice cream and the low
position at the end of 2005, while trade payables decreased by €0.4 billion. Net
debt was €10.3 billion, a decrease of €0.2 billion in the quarter.

Total equity has increased by €1.1 billion since the start of the year,
consistent with the net profit for the quarter.



Underlying sales declined by 0.5%. Volumes were slightly ahead but prices were
lower by 0.6%.

In Western Europe consumption remains weak, while our aggregate market shares
are in line with a year ago. In Central and Eastern Europe we continue to
achieve good growth in buoyant markets.

Performance in the quarter was mixed. Vitality innovation drove growth in
savoury and heart health spreads. There was a slow start in ice cream, which was
not helped by the combination of a later Easter and cooler weather. Both
personal care and household cleaning grew, but sales were weaker in laundry.

There was an improvement in most key countries. In the Netherlands, sales grew,
supported by the move to One Unilever and the roll out of a customer management
improvement programme. Sales in the UK were in line with last year. However
France was held back by a reduction in trade stock levels, largely linked to the
timing of price changes. Russia continues to move ahead strongly with
double-digit growth.

The relaunch of Knorr bouillon cubes throughout the region has begun. The new
platform communicates the naturalness of the ingredients. At the same time Knorr
Vie 'one shot' fruit and vegetable drinks, launched last year, have been
extended to a further two countries. In the Netherlands, 'fresh' soup in pouches
has transformed a declining market into a growing one by attracting new users,
and 'fresh' soups have also been launched in Poland and Russia. Low unit-priced
bouillon cubes, already successful in Latin America, have now been introduced to
Central and Eastern Europe.

The new Axe/Lynx fragrance, 'Click', has been rolled out across Europe, while
Dove was further boosted by a 'summer glow' range in a number of countries. In
household cleaning, the Cif brand has been brought to Russia for the first time
and elsewhere Cif trigger and super cream were launched. We have just introduced
Comfort Creme fabric conditioners, with new technology and a luxury positioning
and, in France, new gel laundry tablets are making good progress.

Operating margin, at 16.8%, was 0.6 percentage points higher mainly through
lower overhead costs.


Underlying sales grew by 2.9%, with 1.3% coming from price increases we have

In the US, consumer demand in home and personal care remains strong, while foods
markets show modest growth. Underlying sales in the US were up by 1.1%, held
back by an unusual level of trade de-stocking in home and personal care

Elsewhere, the region continues to show solid growth despite slower markets in
Mexico and Brazil and aggressive lower priced competition in foods.

Highlights of the regional performance included strong contributions from
Country Crock side dishes and Bertolli frozen in the US, while sales of spreads
suffered from low butter prices. In ice cream we continued to gain market share
in the US, and Brazil benefited from new product introductions and good summer
weather. Our recovery plan for Slim•Fast produced promising results in the
quarter, with a growth in sales following the launch of new hunger control

Deodorants continued to grow strongly across the Americas. Laundry shares in
South Latin America remain strong but sales in skin care declined as a result of
down-trading to lower priced competition. In Mexico sales grew despite soft
markets, boosted by sell-in ahead of the move to regionally harmonised systems.

New products in the quarter included five new dishes in the Bertolli range in
the US and the introduction of similar products under the Knorr brand in Canada.
An extensive innovation programme in ice cream in the US includes more creamy
varieties of Breyers 'double churn', the introduction of 'cyclone', with pieces
of confectionery in a swirl, and Ben & Jerry's sorbets and cones.

Knorr is being developed with further local recipe bouillons, such as grilled
chicken flavour in a number of countries, and through soups in Canada.

Axe continues to go from strength to strength with the launch of exotic body
wash products in the US and the roll-out of the global fragrance, 'Click',
across the region.

The reshaping of the hair care portfolio in the US is progressing, with the
launch of Dove moisturising and therapy ranges, products to care for coloured
hair, and a revamp of the Suave range. The sale of the smaller Finesse and Aqua
Net brands has just been announced.

Operating margin, at 14.6%, was 0.3 percentage points lower, reflecting higher
restructuring costs and lower profits on disposals.


Underlying sales grew by 8%, continuing the positive momentum established last
year. Growth remains largely volume driven, but with positive pricing of 1%
mainly reflecting increases we have taken in home and personal care to mitigate
the effects of increased input costs.

Consumer demand remains buoyant and we are benefiting from our strong market

The growth was broad-based across the region. China was particularly strong
driven by a healthy combination of market growth and share gains from better
distribution and the continuing success of innovations launched last year under
brands such as Pond's and Zonghua. India and Indonesia both saw broad-based,
double-digit growth. Other highlights included Vietnam, Egypt, Arabia, Turkey
and South Africa.

The improved performance in the developed markets of Australia and Japan was
sustained, with modest growth in both countries.

Across the region, all categories were ahead in the quarter, with notable
contributions from skin care and laundry, which are the two largest.

Recent innovations in India include the further revitalisation of the Lux brand,
including the introduction of Lux Aqua Sparkle, and a new variant of Clinic.

The enhanced Lux Super Rich in Japan has been well received while in Indonesia
the Pond's skin care range has been extended with whitening oil control and
moisturiser detox products.

Australia has seen the launch of the latest global Axe/Lynx fragrance 'Click'.

In foods, low unit-priced Knorr bouillon cubes have been brought to the region
and Green Tea innovations are being rolled out extensively. In South Africa,
Rama is being relaunched with new communication supporting the healthy oils in
the product.

Operating margin, at 12.4%, was one percentage point lower than a year ago,
reflecting increased investment in advertising and promotions.

SAFE HARBOUR STATEMENT: This announcement may contain forward-looking
statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the
United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as
'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends' or the negative of these terms and other
similar expressions of future performance or results and their negatives are
intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking
statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding
anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not
historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these
forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important
factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, among
others, competitive pricing and activities, consumption levels, costs, the
ability to maintain and manage key customer relationships and supply chain
sources, currency values, interest rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions
and complete planned divestitures, physical risks, environmental risks, the
ability to manage regulatory, tax and legal matters and resolve pending matters
within current estimates, legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments,
political, economic and social conditions in the geographic markets where the
Group operates and new or changed priorities of the Boards. Further details of
potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the
Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US
Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report and Accounts on
Form 20-F. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this
document. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group
expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any
updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to
reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change
in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.


€ million                                               First Quarter
                                                   2006    2005    Increase/
                                                                Current Constant
                                                                  rates   rates

Continuing operations:

Turnover                                          9 535   8 783      9%      2%

Operating profit                                  1 410   1 320      7%      0%
After (charging)/crediting:
Restructuring                                       (61)    (21)
Business disposals and impairments                  119      71

Net finance costs                                  (121)   (151)
Finance income                                       87      97
Finance costs                                      (216)   (233)
Pensions and similar obligations                      8     (15)
Share in net profit/(loss) of joint ventures         18      10
Share in net profit/(loss) of associates              -       -
Other income from non-current investments             3       8

Profit before taxation                            1 310   1 187     10%      5%

Taxation                                           (309)   (274)

Net profit from continuing operations             1 001     913     10%     5%

Net profit/(loss) from discontinued operations       58      68

Net profit for the period                         1 059     981     8%      3%

Attributable to:

Minority interests                                   69      47
Shareholders' equity                                990     934     6%      1%

Combined earnings per share

From total operations

Per € 0.51 ordinary NV share (Euros)               1.03    0.96     7%      2%
Per 1.4p ordinary PLC share (Euro cents)          15.47   14.44     7%      2%

Per € 0.51 ordinary NV share - diluted (Euros)     0.99    0.93     7%      2%
Per 1.4p ordinary PLC share - diluted (Euro cents)14.87   13.94     7%      2%

From continuing operations

Per € 0.51 ordinary NV share (Euros)               0.97    0.89     9%      4%
Per 1.4p ordinary PLC share (Euro cents)          14.56   13.39     9%      4%

Per € 0.51 ordinary NV share - diluted (Euros)     0.93    0.86     8%      3%
Per 1.4p ordinary PLC share - diluted (Euro cents)14.00   12.93     8%      3%


€ million                                                        First Quarter
                                                                  2006    2005

Fair value gains/(losses) on financial instruments net of tax     (191)     16
Actuarial gains/(losses) on pension schemes net of tax              10      (5)
Currency retranslation gains/(losses) net of tax                   183      88

Net income/(expense) recognised directly in equity                   2      99

Net profit for the period                                        1 059     981

Total recognised income and expense for the period               1 061   1 080

Attributable to:

Minority interests                                                  69      67
Shareholders' equity                                               992   1 013


€ million                                                        First Quarter
                                                                  2006    2005

Equity at 1 January                                              8 765   6 515
Total recognised income and expense for the period               1 061   1 080
Conversion of preference shares                                      -     930
(Purchase)/sale of treasury stock                                  (21)   (162)
Share option credit                                                 28      41
Dividends paid to minority shareholders                            (11)    (22)
Currency retranslation gains/(losses) net of tax                    (4)      8
Other movements in equity                                            7       -

Equity at the end of the period                                  9 825   8 390


€ million                                       As at         As at      As at
                                              1 April   31 December    2 April
                                                 2006          2005       2005

Non-current assets

Goodwill and intangible assets                 17 892        18 055     17 334
Property, plant and equipment                   6 428         6 492      6 231
Pension asset for funded schemes in surplus     1 026         1 036        696
Deferred tax assets                             1 602         1 703      1 498
Other non-current assets                        1 061         1 072      1 582

Total non-current assets                       28 009        28 358     27 341

Assets held for sale                              403           217        156

Current assets

Inventories                                     4 217         4 107      4 112
Trade and other current receivables             5 318         4 830      4 616
Other financial assets                            384           335        334
Cash and cash equivalents                       1 969         1 529      1 721

Total current assets                           11 888        10 801     10 783

Current liabilities

Borrowings due within one year                 (6 501)       (5 942)    (5 462)
Trade payables and other current liabilities   (8 249)       (8 658)    (8 234)
Restructuring and other provisions               (562)         (644)    (1 045)

Total current liabilities                     (15 312)      (15 244)   (14 741)

Net current assets/(liabilities)               (3 424)       (4 443)    (3 958)

Total assets less current liabilities          24 988        24 132     23 539

Non-current liabilities

Borrowings due after one year                   6 250         6 457      7 062
Pension liability for funded schemes in
deficit                                         2 342         2 415      2 411
Pension liability for unfunded schemes          4 096         4 202      3 858
Restructuring and other provisions                787           732        280
Deferred tax liabilities                          931           933        816
Other non-current liabilities                     574           602        713

Total non-current liabilities                  14 980        15 341     15 140

Liabilities held for sale                         183            26          9


Shareholders' equity                            9 365         8 361      7 976
Minority interests                                460           404        414

Total equity                                    9 825         8 765      8 390

Total capital employed                         24 988        24 132     23 539


€ million                                                      First Quarter
                                                              2006       2005

Operating activities

Cash flow from operating activities                            540        779
Income tax paid                                               (237)      (308)

Net cash flow from operating activities                        303        471

Investing activities

Interest received                                               76         42
Net capital expenditure                                       (190)      (182)
Acquisitions and disposals                                     143        101
Other investing activities                                     (36)       210

Net cash flow from/(used in) investing activities               (7)       171

Financing activities

Dividends paid on ordinary share capital                       (70)        (2)
Interest and preference dividends paid                        (152)      (115)
Change in borrowings and finance leases                        275       (214)
Purchase of treasury stock                                     (19)      (158)
Other financing activities                                      (9)       (21)

Net cash flow from/(used in) financing activities               25       (510)

Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents           321        132

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year       1 265      1 406

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes                        (16)       (23)

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of period               1 570      1 515


€ million                                                    As at        As at
                                                           1 April  31 December
                                                              2006         2005

Total borrowings                                           (12 751)    (12 399)
Borrowings due within one year                              (6 501)     (5 942)
Borrowings due after one year                               (6 250)     (6 457)
Cash and cash equivalents as per balance sheet               1 969       1 529
Cash and cash equivalents as per cash flow statement         1 570       1 265
Add bank overdrafts deducted therein                           399         265
Less cash and cash equivalents in assets/
liabilities held for sale                                        -          (1)
Other financial assets                                         384         335
Derivatives and finance leases included in other
receivables and other liabilities                              145          33

Net debt                                                   (10 253)    (10 502)


Continuing operations - First Quarter

€ million                Europe     Americas      Asia Africa    Total


2005                     3 506        2 948            2 329      8 783
2006                     3 471        3 418            2 646      9 535
Change                   (1.0)%       16.0%            13.6%       8.6%

Impact of:

Exchange rates            0.5%        13.0%             6.5%       6.3%
Acquisitions              0.0%         0.1%             0.0%       0.0%
Disposals                (1.1)%       (0.4)%           (1.1)%     (0.8)%

Underlying sales growth  (0.5)%        2.9%             7.8%       2.9%

Price                    (0.6)%        1.3%             1.0%       0.5%
Volume                    0.1%         1.5%             6.7%       2.4%

Operating profit

2005                      570          439              311       1 320
2006                      582          500              328       1 410
Change current rates      2.2%        13.9%             5.3%       6.8%
Change constant rates     1.6%        (0.4)%           (1.2)%      0.3%

Operating margin

2005                     16.2%        14.9%            13.4%      15.0%
2006                     16.8%        14.6%            12.4%      14.8%

Includes restructuring, business disposals and

2005                      0.8%        (0.1)%           0.9%        0.5%
2006                      1.0%        (0.5)%           1.5%        0.6%

Operating profit of discontinued operations - First Quarter

€ million    Europe        Americas           Asia Africa        Total

  2005           80              16                 -                96
  2006           81               -                 -                81


We have reviewed the segmental analysis of our foods operations in the light of
the proposed sale of frozen foods businesses in Europe, now treated as
discontinued operations. The new segments are as follows:

 •  Savoury, dressings and spreads: comprising the segments previously
    reported as 'savoury and dressings' and 'spreads and cooking products',
    together with the remaining frozen foods business.

 •  Ice cream and beverages: combining the segments previously reported as
    'ice cream' and 'beverages'.

Continuing operations - First Quarter

                   dressings  Ice cream                     Home care   Home and     Total      
                         and        and            Personal       and   Personal
€ million            spreads  beverages     Foods      care     other       Care

2005                   3 236      1 495     4 731     2 378     1 674      4 052     8 783

2006                   3 399      1 630     5 029     2 702     1 804      4 506     9 535
Change                   5.0%       9.0%      6.3%     13.6%      7.8%      11.2%      8.6%

Impact of:
Exchange rates           4.6%       6.5%      5.2%      8.0%      7.0%       7.6%      6.3%
Acquisitions             0.0%       0.0%      0.0%      0.0%      0.1%       0.0%      0.0%
Disposals              (1.4)%     (0.2)%    (1.0)%    (0.4)%    (0.8)%     (0.6)%    (0.8)%

Underlying sales    
growth                   1.8%       2.6%      2.0%      5.6%      1.4%       3.9%      2.9%

Operating profit 
 2005                    568        123       691       435       194        629     1 320
 2006                    574        161       735       498       177        675     1 410
Change current rates     1.0%      30.8%      6.3%     14.7%    (8.9)%       7.4%      6.8%
Change constant rates  (2.6)%      19.8%      1.5%      5.2%   (15.2)%     (1.0)%      0.3%

Operating margin
 2005                   17.6%       8.2%     14.6%     18.3%     11.6%      15.5%     15.0%
 2006                   16.9%       9.9%     14.6%     18.4%      9.8%      15.0%     14.8%



Discontinued operations

In line with the requirements of IFRS 5, the frozen foods businesses in Western
Europe which are planned to be sold are treated as discontinued operations,
together with the results of Unilever Cosmetics International, which was sold in
the middle of last year.

Basic earnings per €0.51 NV ordinary share in respect of the discontinued
operations were €0.06 for the quarter (2005: €0.07). Diluted earnings per €0.51
NV ordinary share in respect of the discontinued operations were €0.06 for the
quarter (2005: €0.07).

Basic earnings per 1.4p PLC ordinary share in respect of the discontinued
operations were 0.91 Euro cents for the quarter (2005: 1.05 Euro cents). Diluted
earnings per 1.4p PLC ordinary share in respect of the discontinued operations
were 0.87 Euro cents for the quarter
(2005: 1.01 Euro cents).

The net cash flows attributable to the discontinued operations in respect of
operating, investing and financing activities for the quarter were €(8) million,
€5 million and €(1) million respectively (2005:
€(28) million, €6 million and €(1) million).

Acquisitions and disposals

On 20 March 2006 we announced that we had reached a definitive agreement with Ad
van Geloven on the sale of our Mora business in the Netherlands and Belgium. The
intention to sell this business, which has a turnover of around €100 million,
was originally announced in September 2005.

On 2 May 2006, we announced the sale to Lornamead Brands Inc. of the Finesse
hair care brand in the US and Canada and the Aqua Net brand in the US. These
brands had a combined annual turnover in 2005 of US $85 million.

Issuances and repayments of debt

On 15 January 2006, we repaid a US $300 million bond with a fixed interest rate
of 6.15%.

Exchange rate conventions

The income statement on page 5, the statement of recognised income and expense
and the movements in equity on page 6 and the cash flow statement on page 8 are
translated at rates current in each period.

The balance sheet on page 7 and the analysis of net debt on page 8 are
translated at period-end rates of exchange.

Supplementary information in US dollars and sterling is available on our website

The financial statements attached do not constitute the full financial
statements within the meaning of Section 240 of the UK Companies Act 1985. Full
accounts for Unilever for the year ended 31 December 2005 have been delivered to
the Registrar of Companies. The auditors' report on these accounts was
unqualified and did not contain a statement under Section 237(2) or Section 237
(3) of the UK Companies Act 1985.



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 as treasury stock.

The number of combined share units is calculated from the underlying NV and PLC
shares using the exchange rate of £1 = €5.445, in accordance with the
Equalisation Agreement.

In calculation of diluted earnings per share, a number of adjustments are made 
to the number of shares, principally the following: (i) conversion into PLC 
ordinary shares in the year 2038 of shares in a group company under the 
arrangements for the variation of the Leverhulme Trust; (ii) conversion of the 
€0.05 NV preference shares (up to the point of conversion); and (iii) the 
exercise of share options by employees.

Earnings per share for total operations for the first quarter

                                                               2006        2005
Combined EPS                                                 Thousands of units

Average number of combined share units of €0.51             960 261     970 260
Average number of combined share units of 1.4p            6 401 741   6 468 403

                                                                 € million

Net profit attributable to shareholders' equity                 990         934

Combined EPS per €0.51 (Euros)                                 1.03        0.96
Combined EPS per 1.4p (Euro cents)                            15.47       14.44

Combined EPS - Diluted                                       Thousands of units

Adjusted average number of combined share units of €0.51    998 757   1 007 820
Adjusted average number of combined share units of 1.4p   6 658 379   6 718 801

                                                                 € million

Adjusted net profit attributable to shareholders' equity        990         937

Combined diluted EPS per €0.51 (Euros)                         0.99        0.93
Combined diluted EPS per 1.4p (Euro cents)                    14.87       13.94

Combined EPS - American shares

Combined EPS per €0.51 NV New York Share                      $1.24       $1.26
Combined EPS per 5.6p PLC American Depositary Receipt         $0.75       $0.76

Combined diluted EPS per €0.51 NV New York Share              $1.19       $1.22
Combined diluted EPS per 5.6p PLC American Depositary Receipt $0.72       $0.73


The results for the second quarter and for the first half year 2006 will be
published on 3 August 2006.

+44 (0) 20 7822 6805/6010

E-mail: [email protected]

4 May 2006

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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