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Unilever PLC (ULVR)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Thursday 03 May, 2007

Unilever PLC

1st Quarter Results

Unilever PLC
03 May 2007



€ million                                                                                First Quarter 2007
                                                                                 Current   Current  Constant
                                                                                   rates     rates     rates
Continuing operations:

Turnover                                                                           9 528       0 %       5 %
Operating profit                                                                   1 302      (8)%      (3)%
Pre-tax profit                                                                     1 332       2 %       5 %
Net profit from continuing operations                                              1 052       5 %       9 %
Net profit from total operations                                                   1 074       1 %       5 %

EPS from continuing operations (Euros)                                              0.34       6 %       9 %
EPS from total operations (Euros)                                                   0.35       2 %       5 %


Financial Highlights

•    Underlying sales growth of 5.7%, mostly volume.
•    Operating margin of 13.7%, with an improvement of 0.4 percentage points 
     before restructuring, disposals and impairments.
•    Earnings per share from continuing operations up 6%, with good results from 
     joint ventures and associates, reduced finance costs and a lower tax rate.
•    Currency movements reduced turnover by 5% and earnings per share by 3%.

Operational Highlights

•    Broad-based sales growth across regions and categories.
•    Better margin development driven by home and personal care.
•    Continuing improvement in Europe with underlying sales growth of 3.6%.
•    Strong first quarter innovation with bigger launches driving growth in
     personal care and developing and emerging markets.
•    Continued pace in the implementation of One Unilever and supply chain
     improvement programmes.


We have had a good start to 2007, with broad-based sales growth across regions
and categories and improved margin development driven by home and personal care.

Sales benefited from a strong innovation programme, especially in personal care,
with several major launches in the quarter.  Our European business performed
well, aided by a strong start in ice cream, the timing of price increases in
some key markets and a favourable comparator.  Sales growth has been accompanied
by an underlying improvement in our operating margin.

This performance builds on the progress made in 2006 and is further evidence of
the breadth and depth of our change programme.  Our growth strategy is focusing
resources behind clear priorities and delivering bigger, better innovation,
faster roll-outs and more effective marketing mixes.  New ways of working are
transforming our ability to deploy these innovations and to service customers in
a more efficient way.

Looking forward, we face a significant headwind from rising agricultural
commodity costs which may require further pricing action.  I am confident,
however, that the combined benefit of organic growth in our 3-5% guidance range
and improved efficiency leaves us well placed to achieve our margin objectives
for 2007.

The scale of change that has taken place in our business is very significant and
is showing through in our results. Nevertheless we continue to look for
opportunities to speed up the development of our portfolio through acquisitions
and disposals and to accelerate margin improvement towards world class

Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive
3 May 2007


Media: Media Relations Team                     Investors: Investor Relations team
UK +44 20 7822 6805 [email protected]      UK +44 20 7822 6830  [email protected]
NL +31 10 217 4844                              US +1 201 894 2615 [email protected]
[email protected]

There will be a web cast of the results presentation available at:

                         UNILEVER FIRST QUARTER RESULTS 2007 

In the following commentary we report underlying sales growth (USG) at constant
exchange rates, 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.  We also use the movements in
Ungeared Free Cash Flow and Return On Invested Capital to measure progress
against our longer-term value creation goals.  Unilever believes that such
measures provide additional information for shareholders on underlying business
performance trends.  Such measures are not defined under IFRS or US GAAP and are
not intended to be a substitute for GAAP measures of turnover, profit and cash
flow.  Further information about these measures is available on our website at


Underlying sales grew by 5.7%, mostly from volume and with 0.8% of price

Europe had a good start to the year with growth of 3.6%, helped by strong sales
ahead of the new ice cream season and a favourable comparator.  The Americas
grew 3.2%.  Sales in the US were ahead by 3.7% and there were good performances
in most countries in Latin America but Mexico declined against a strong quarter
last year and local competition held back growth in Brazil.  Asia Africa grew
11.8% boosted by a strong personal care innovation programme.

All our categories grew in the quarter, with personal care particularly strong,
at 8.4%, but notable contributions also from laundry, household cleaning,
savoury and tea.

Productivity has improved considerably as a result of our savings programmes,
especially the move to 'One Unilever' business in each country around the world,
and the benefit of volume leverage.  These gains more than offset a continued
sharp rise in commodity costs, especially in Foods.

Investment in advertising and promotions was maintained and continues to be
focused behind our priorities for growth.


2.1   Turnover

Underlying sales growth of 5.7% was fully offset by adverse exchange rate
movements of 4.5% and net disposals of 1.0%.  As a result, turnover was in line
with last year.

2.2   Operating profit

Operating profit was 8% below the first quarter of last year, with the operating
margin at 13.7%, 1.1 percentage points lower.  Last year included significant 
profits on business disposals, while this year included higher restructuring 
charges and less disposal profits.  Before these items the operating margin was 
0.4 percentage points higher.

Advertising and promotions was at a similar level to last year.

Our savings programmes continue to deliver at a consistently high rate.  The
combined benefit of these, positive pricing, mix improvement and volume leverage
more than offset cost increases in the quarter.

2.3   Finance costs and tax

Costs of financing net borrowings were 19% lower than last year through a
reduced level of net debt, which at the end of the quarter was €7.7 billion.

The credit on pensions financing improved from €8 million to €34 million as a
result of the better funding position of our schemes and higher expected equity

The tax charge was lower than last year, reflecting a better country mix.  We
continue to expect a tax rate of around 24% for the year, with a particularly
low rate in the second quarter from the favourable completion of tax audits, and
higher rates in the second half.

2.4   Joint Ventures, associates and other income from non-current investments

Our share in net profit from joint ventures increased from €18 million to €27
million, mainly from good growth in the partnerships between Lipton and Pepsi
for ready-to-drink tea.  This profit now also includes our share of the full
results from Portugal which has been restructured as a single company in which
we have joint control.

Share of net profit from associates was €48 million, mostly due to the placement
of further equity by one of our venture capital fund investments.

Profit on other non current investments of €25 million includes a one-off gain
in Indonesia.

2.5   Net profit and earnings per share

Net profit from continuing operations grew by 5%, while EPS on the same basis
was up 6%.

Discontinued operations mainly relate to the business results of frozen foods
(which was sold in the fourth quarter of 2006).  In addition, the first quarter
of both years includes performance-based contributions resulting from the sale
of UCI in 2005.

2.6   Share buy-backs

On 12 March 2007 we started the €1.5 billion share buy-back programme planned
for 2007.  By the end of April we had bought back shares to a value of €265

2.7   Cash flow

Net cash flow from operating activities was €0.1 billion lower than last year,
mainly due to higher cash restructuring costs.  Capital expenditure outflow was
at a similar level to the first quarter of 2006.

Cash and cash equivalents increased from €0.7 billion at the start of the year
to €1.2 billion at the end of the quarter while borrowings increased by a
similar amount.

2.8   Balance sheet

We have evaluated the effects of market movements in the value of assets and
liabilities of our major pension schemes, and now incorporate them in the
balance sheet each quarter in line with common practice.  There was an
improvement of €0.8 billion in the quarter.

Working capital increases follow the normal seasonal pattern, some of the rise
in inventories being in ice cream.

The changes in deferred tax balances are largely in response to movements in
pension schemes.

2.9   Pensions

The aggregate pension liability, net of assets and before tax, reduced further
from €3.1 billion at the start of the year to €2.3 billion at the end of the
first quarter reflecting higher interest rates.  Within the combined balance,
there is now an aggregate surplus of €1.0 billion on funded schemes, and a
slightly reduced liability of €3.3 billion on unfunded schemes.


3.1 Europe
                                                                       First Quarter 2007
                                                                                           %   Underlying
                                                                2007        2006      change sales growth

Turnover (€ million)                                           3 544       3 471         2.1          3.6

Operating Margin (%)                                            14.4        16.8
- Restructuring, business disposals and impairments             (1.3)        1.0


Europe had a strong start to the year, building on the progress made in 2006.
We are now more competitive and are executing better as a result of the changes
that have been made over the past two years.  Consumer demand picked up through
last year and this has been sustained in the first quarter.

Underlying sales grew by 3.6%, with volumes ahead by over 4% and a price decline
of 0.7%.  Sales in all categories were up.  The highest growth rates were in ice
cream, where we anticipated an early start to the season with a strong '
sell-in', and in personal care from an extensive first quarter innovation

The return to growth in the UK was sustained with share gains in tea and
dressings and good results from personal care innovation and in household care.
These more than offset weaker performances in spreads, laundry and hair care.
It was a good quarter in Germany, particularly in personal care, ice cream and
spreads, and sales were additionally boosted by buying-in ahead of list price
increases at the end of the quarter.  The Netherlands continues to grow strongly
demonstrating the benefits of a well established 'One Unilever' approach.

Sales in France were slightly ahead of last year, against a favourable
comparator.  It remains a difficult market for us with flat consumer demand and
pressure on pricing, and we are still managing through some operational issues.

Growth in Russia of 10% was fuelled by excellent performances in household
cleaning and personal care.


The current innovation programme clearly shows the way in which Vitality is
reshaping our portfolio.

Blue Band/Rama Idea!, a spread with extra nutrients that are good for the brain,
built on its launch in most countries at the end of 2006 and Knorr Vie fruit and
vegetable 'shots' were rolled out to Germany in the first quarter.  Flora/Becel
spreads fortified with Omega 3 were launched across the region, while Omega 3
mini-drinks have been introduced to France, Greece and the Netherlands.  In
dressings, Hellmann's light with citrus fibre now offers the same taste but in
an even lighter form.  This year's ice cream range includes 'Milk-time' tubs,
high in calcium - following a similar concept successful in Asia, Solero exotic,
and Frusi, a healthy yoghurt and fruit snack.

In personal care, Dove continues to broaden its appeal.  Just launched, the Dove
pro•age range of skin, deodorants and shampoos is specifically designed
for the over 50's, and the Dove range of 'glow' lotions with subtle self-tanners
has been extended.  The latest Axe deodorants come in a 'telescoping' can with
updated graphics and the addition of a new fragrance.  'Small and Mighty'
concentrated liquid laundry detergents, which have been leading the move to the
more efficient and environmentally friendly form in the US market, have been
launched under the Persil and Surf brands in the UK and Skip in France.


The operating margin at 14.4% was 2.4 percentage points lower than a year ago
due to a higher level of restructuring and less profit on disposals.  Before
these items, the margin was 0.1 percentage points lower than a year ago.  The
negative impacts of price reductions and higher commodity costs were largely
offset by cost savings.

3.2 The Americas
                                                                        First Quarter 2007
                                                                                           %   Underlying
                                                                2007        2006      change sales growth

Turnover (€ million)                                           3 231       3 418        (5.5)         3.2

Operating Margin (%)                                            14.4        14.6
- Restructuring, business disposals and impairments             (0.6)       (0.5)


Underlying sales grew by 3.2%, mostly from volume and with a good performance in
the US, but growth in Latin America was held back by Brazil and Mexico.  The
environment has continued much as in 2006, with healthy market growth overall
but some slowdown in demand in Foods in parts of the region.

The US grew by 3.7% and market shares are steady in aggregate.  Growth was
boosted by a full innovation programme in personal care and a favourable
comparator in the first quarter last year when trade stocks were reduced.
Bertolli frozen meals and innovations in tea performed particularly well.
However sales in ice cream were lower, with further trade de-stocking as the
market adjusts to a lower level of promotional activity.  We have also lost some
share in ice cream and our marketing plan is directed at correcting this.

In Mexico, sales were well down on a very strong comparator last year which
included the sell-in of product ahead of the implementation of new systems at
the end of the first quarter of 2006.  This should reverse in the second
quarter.  Looking behind this timing effect, the return to growth in consumer
sales in the second half of last year has been sustained with good growth of
AdeS soy-based drinks and Knorr bouillons.

Sales in Brazil were only slightly ahead, with volume gains largely offset by
negative pricing as we have repositioned our laundry brands against local
competitors.  Elsewhere in Latin America, there has been sustained strong growth
across all categories.


First quarter foods innovations built on last year's programme.  The premium
frozen meals range has been further developed with new dishes under the Bertolli
brand in the US and Knorr in Canada.  In Latin America, Knorr has been building
its 'Vitality' credentials with new varieties of bouillons and improved soups.
Hellmann's 'real' campaign highlights its simple ingredients, naturally rich in
Omega 3.  In ice cream, we have extended Breyers 'double churn' in the US to fat
free, light and no sugar added variants, while innovations in Latin America
address both Vitality and low income consumer opportunities.

Innovation in personal care highlights the new more global approach. Axe has
been given the same new look in the US as elsewhere in the world, while new
variants of Degree/Rexona 'no white marks' deodorant have been introduced,
including a version for men.  The Dove pro•age range of skin, deodorants
and shampoos has been launched in the US at the same time as in Europe and the
new global mix of Clear anti-dandruff shampoo was introduced to Brazil at the
end of the quarter.


The operating margin of 14.4% was 0.2 percentage points lower than a year ago as
a result of sharp increases in agricultural commodity costs.  Investment in
advertising and promotions was held at last year's level in absolute terms, and
was slightly lower as a percentage of sales.

3.3 Asia Africa
                                                                          First Quarter 2007
                                                                                            %   Underlying
                                                                  2007       2006      change sales growth

Turnover (€ million)                                             2 753      2 646         4.0         11.8

Operating Margin (%)                                              11.9       12.4
- Restructuring, business disposals and impairments               (0.7)       1.5


The region continues to be a major driver of growth, with underlying sales ahead
by 11.8% in markets which remain generally buoyant.  Our growth is broad-based
across all categories and all major countries.  The first quarter also reflected
some pipeline filling for an extensive innovation programme in personal care,
including the launches of Clear in China and Axe in Japan.

India returned to strong growth after a relatively weaker quarter at the end of
2006.  Highlights were good performances in laundry led by Surf and Wheel, skin
powered by Lux and hair care with all the major brands contributing.  There were
also improved sales in tea.

In China, most categories grew well, especially hair care.  Indonesia showed
continued strong growth momentum and there was a much improved performance in

Sales in Japan were ahead in the quarter, boosted by personal care innovations.
Australia had a good start to the year although individual category performance
remains mixed with ice cream, tea and deodorants well up, but lower market
pricing depressing sales in hair care.

In South Africa, Flora, Knorr and our personal care brands led an improving
growth trend.  In Turkey, we have raised prices, which held back volumes in a
number of categories.


The strong personal care innovation programme in the first quarter reflects our
global priorities.

The new global mix of Clear anti-dandruff shampoo is being launched in a number
of key markets around the world, with the brand being introduced for the first
time in China and Arabia in the first quarter.  In Turkey, the brand was updated
including a premium male range.

Another major initiative has been the launch of Axe for the first time in Japan,
where we also brought out new products in the Dove facial self-foaming facial
wash and Lux hair styling ranges.

Pond's anti-ageing face care products have been introduced in several countries,
while in Indonesia we have launched two new hair care products: Dove
anti-dandruff and Clear scalp oil control.

The programme in foods was focused on Vitality initiatives.  For example, in
Turkey we have launched Amaze snacks which are good for the brain and a
cholesterol-lowering margarine with plant sterols under the Becel brand.
Meanwhile, in Asia we have extended the 'Moo' range of ice creams containing
super absorbent calcium for children's development.


The operating margin, at 11.9%, was 0.5 percentage points lower than a year ago
with higher restructuring costs and no profits on disposals.  Before these items
there was an improvement of 1.7 percentage points.  This reflects the benefits 
of volume growth, savings programmes and price increases to recover rising input 
costs.  Investment in advertising and promotions was increased to support key 
innovation activities.

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, including financial
objectives to 2010, 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 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
                                                                              2007      2006          Increase/
                                                                                                  Current  Constant
                                                                                                    rates     rates
Continuing operations:

Turnover                                                                      9 528     9 535         0 %       5 %

Operating profit                                                              1 302     1 410        (8)%      (3)%
After (charging)/crediting:
   Restructuring                                                               (121)      (61)
   Business disposals and impairments                                            35       119

Net finance costs                                                               (70)     (121)
   Finance income                                                                27        87
   Finance costs                                                               (131)     (216)
   Pensions and similar obligations                                              34         8
Share in net profit/(loss) of joint ventures                                     27        18
Share in net profit/(loss) of associates                                         48         -
Other income from non-current investments                                        25         3

Profit before taxation                                                        1 332     1 310         2 %       5 %

Taxation                                                                       (280)     (309)

Net profit from continuing operations                                         1 052     1 001         5 %       9 %

Net profit/(loss) from discontinued operations                                   22        58

Net profit for the period                                                     1 074     1 059         1 %       5 %

Attributable to:
   Minority interests                                                            61        69
   Shareholders' equity                                                       1 013       990         2 %       5 %

Combined earnings per share
   Continuing operations (Euros)                                               0.34      0.32         6 %       9 %
   Continuing operations - diluted (Euros)                                     0.33      0.31         7 %      10 %
   Discontinued operations (Euros)                                             0.01      0.02                      
   Discontinued operations - diluted (Euros)                                   0.01      0.02
   Total operations (Euros)                                                    0.35      0.34         2 %       5 %
   Total operations - diluted (Euros)                                          0.34      0.33         3 %       6 %


€ million                                                                               First Quarter
                                                                                        2007         2006

Fair value gains/(losses) on financial instruments net of tax                              1         (191)
Actuarial gains/(losses) on pension schemes net of tax                                   450           10
Currency retranslation gains/(losses) net of tax                                         (13)         183

Net income/(expense) recognised directly in equity                                       438            2

Net profit for the period                                                              1 074        1 059

Total recognised income and expense for the period                                     1 512        1 061

Attributable to:
   Minority interests                                                                     61           69
   Shareholders' equity                                                                1 451          992


€ million                                                                               First Quarter
                                                                                        2007         2006

Equity at 1 January                                                                   11 672        8 765
Total recognised income and expense for the period                                     1 512        1 061
Movement in treasury stock                                                              (494)         (21)
Share-based payment credit                                                                30           28
Dividends paid to minority shareholders                                                   (6)         (11)
Currency retranslation gains/(losses) net of tax                                          (3)          (4)
Other movements in equity                                                                 94            7
Equity at the end of the period                                                       12 805        9 825


€ million                                                                    As at           As at     As at
                                                                          31 March     31 December   1 April
                                                                              2007            2006      2006

Non-current assets
Goodwill and intangible assets                                              17 137          17 206    17 892
Property, plant and equipment                                                6 165           6 276     6 428
Pension asset for funded schemes in surplus                                  1 779           1 697     1 026
Deferred tax assets                                                          1 164           1 266     1 602
Other non-current assets                                                     1 240           1 126     1 043
Total non-current assets                                                    27 485          27 571    27 991

Current assets
Inventories                                                                  4 140           3 796     4 217
Trade and other current receivables                                          4 833           4 254     4 962
Current tax assets                                                             160             125       144
Other financial assets                                                         266             273       759
Cash and cash equivalents                                                    1 535           1 039     1 969
Non-current assets held for sale                                                17              14       403
Total current assets                                                        10 951           9 501    12 454

Current liabilities
Financial liabilities                                                       (5 102)         (4 458)   (6 575)
Trade payables and other current liabilities                                (8 096)         (7 838)   (7 776)
Current tax liabilities                                                       (664)           (579)     (544)
Provisions                                                                    (874)         (1 009)     (562)
Liabilities associated with non-current assets held for sale                     -               -      (183)
Total current liabilities                                                  (14 736)        (13 884)  (15 640)
Net current assets/(liabilities)                                            (3 785)         (4 383)   (3 186)
Total assets less current liabilities                                       23 700          23 188    24 805

Non-current liabilities
Financial liabilities due after one year                                     4 353           4 377     6 402
Pensions and post-retirement healthcare benefits liabilities:
     Funded schemes in deficit                                                 785           1 379     2 342
     Unfunded schemes                                                        3 305           3 398     4 096
Provisions                                                                     881             826       787
Deferred tax liabilities                                                     1 108           1 003       931
Other non-current liabilities                                                  463             533       422
Total non-current liabilities                                               10 895          11 516    14 980

Shareholders' equity                                                        12 234          11 230     9 365
Minority interests                                                             571             442       460
Total equity                                                                12 805          11 672     9 825
Total capital employed                                                      23 700          23 188    24 805


€ million                                                                               First Quarter
                                                                                        2007         2006

Operating activities
Cash flow from operating activities                                                      451          540
Income tax paid                                                                         (249)        (237)
Net cash flow from operating activities                                                  202          303

Investing activities
Interest received                                                                         11           76
Net capital expenditure                                                                 (194)        (190)
Acquisitions and disposals                                                                14          143
Other investing activities                                                                64          (36)
Net cash flow from/(used in) investing activities                                       (105)          (7)

Financing activities
Dividends paid on ordinary share capital                                                (157)         (70)
Interest and preference dividends paid                                                   (85)        (152)
Change in financial liabilities                                                          647          275
Movement on treasury stock                                                               (79)         (19)
Other financing activities                                                               (36)          (9)
Net cash flow from/(used in) financing activities                                        290           25

Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents                                     387          321

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year                                   710        1 265

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes                                                   63          (16)

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of period                                         1 160        1 570

Reconciliation of net profit to cash flow from operating activities

€ million                                                                               First Quarter
                                                                                        2007         2006

Net profit                                                                             1 074        1 059
Taxation                                                                                 282          331
Share of net profit of joint ventures/associates and other income from non-current      (100)         (22)
Net finance costs                                                                         70          123
Operating profit (continuing and discontinued operations)                              1 326        1 491
Depreciation, amortisation and impairment                                                242          220
Changes in working capital                                                              (956)        (967)
Pensions and similar provisions less payments                                            (78)         (42)
Restructuring and other provisions less payments                                         (63)         (51)
Elimination of (profits)/losses on disposals                                             (55)        (149)
Non-cash charge for share-based compensation                                              37           28
Other adjustments                                                                         (2)          10
Cash flow from operating activities                                                      451          540


€ million                                                                               As at           As at
                                                                                     31 March     31 December
                                                                                         2007            2006

Total financial liabilities                                                            (9 455)         (8 835)
Financial liabilities due within one year                                              (5 102)         (4 458)
Financial liabilities due after one year                                               (4 353)         (4 377)
Cash and cash equivalents as per balance sheet                                          1 535           1 039
Cash and cash equivalents as per cash flow statement                                    1 160             710
Add bank overdrafts deducted therein                                                      375             329
Financial assets                                                                          266             273
Net debt                                                                               (7 654)         (7 523)


Continuing operations - First Quarter
€ million                                         Europe        Americas      Asia Africa   Total

   2006                                            3 471           3 418            2 646   9 535
   2007                                            3 544           3 231            2 753   9 528
Change                                             2.1 %          (5.5)%             4.0%  (0.1)%

Impact of:
   Exchange rates                                  0.4 %          (7.9)%           (6.6)%  (4.5)%
   Acquisitions                                    0.3 %           0.0 %            0.2 %   0.2 %
   Disposals                                      (2.1)%          (0.6)%           (0.6)%  (1.2)%

Underlying sales growth                            3.6 %           3.2 %           11.8 %   5.7 %
   Price                                          (0.7)%           0.8 %            2.9 %   0.8 %
   Volume                                          4.3 %           2.3 %            8.6 %   4.8 %

Operating profit
   2006                                              582             500              328   1 410
   2007                                              510             465              327   1 302
Change current rates                             (12.5)%          (6.9)%           (0.3)%  (7.7)%
Change constant rates                            (12.8)%           1.3 %            7.4 %  (3.3)%

Operating margin
   2006                                           16.8 %          14.6 %           12.4 %  14.8 %
   2007                                           14.4 %          14.4 %           11.9 %  13.7 %

Includes restructuring, business disposals and
   2006                                            1.0 %          (0.5)%            1.5 %   0.6 %
   2007                                           (1.3)%          (0.6)%           (0.7)%  (0.9)%

Operating profit of discontinued operations (excluding profit/loss on disposals) - First Quarter

€ million                                         Europe        Americas      Asia Africa   Total

   2006                                               68               -                -      68
   2007                                                -               -                -       -


Continuing operations - First Quarter

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

   2006                           3 399         1 630        5 029         2 702        1 804      4 506     9 535
   2007                           3 375         1 614        4 989         2 749        1 790      4 539     9 528
Change                           (0.7)%        (1.0)%       (0.8)%         1.7 %       (0.8)%      0.7 %    (0.1)%

Impact of:
   Exchange rates                (3.7)%        (4.6)%       (4.0)%        (5.3)%       (4.9)%     (5.1)%    (4.5)%
   Acquisitions                   0.0 %         0.3 %        0.1 %         0.2 %        0.2 %      0.2 %     0.2 %
   Disposals                     (0.8)%        (1.4)%       (1.0)%        (1.2)%       (1.6)%     (1.3)%    (1.2)%

Underlying sales growth           3.8 %         4.9 %        4.2 %         8.4 %        5.8 %      7.4 %     5.7 %

Operating profit
   2006                             574           161          735           498          177        675     1 410
   2007                             457           114          571           542          189        731     1 302
Change current rates            (20.3)%       (29.4)%      (22.3)%         8.7 %        7.0 %      8.3 %    (7.7)%
Change constant rates           (17.5)%       (24.6)%      (19.1)%        14.3 %       13.3 %     14.1 %    (3.3)%

Operating margin
   2006                          16.9 %         9.9 %       14.6 %        18.4 %        9.8 %     15.0 %    14.8 %
   2007                          13.5 %         7.1 %       11.4 %        19.7 %       10.6 %     16.1 %    13.7 %


Basis of Preparation

The condensed interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the EU.  The
basis of preparation is consistent with the year ended 31 December 2006 except

•         Finance lease creditors and funding-related derivatives have been
reclassified in the balance sheet in order to facilitate the presentation of net
debt.  Comparatives for 31 December 2006 and 1 April 2006 have been restated
accordingly; and

•         Line items relating to borrowings in the balance sheet have been
renamed to financial liabilities to align with the requirements of IFRS 7
'Financial Instruments - Disclosures' which Unilever has adopted as at 1 January

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.

Acquisitions and disposals

On 1 January 2007, Unilever completed the restructuring of its Portuguese
businesses into a single entity in which Unilever now holds 55% and Jeronimo
Martins owns 45%.  The combined business includes the foods and home and
personal care businesses.  The structure of the agreement is such that there is
joint control of the newly formed entity and so it is accounted for by Unilever
as a joint venture.

Discontinued operations

The net cash flows attributable to the discontinued operations in respect of
operating, investing and financing activities for the first quarter were €(2)
million, €24 million and €0 million respectively (2006: €(9) million, €5 million
and €(1) million).


The tax rate in the quarter was 22% compared with 24% in the first quarter of
last year.  The tax rate is calculated by dividing the tax charge by pre-tax
profit excluding the contribution of joint ventures and associates.  The tax
charge for the quarter includes €61 million (2006: €17 million) relating to
United Kingdom taxation.

Exchange rate conventions

The income statement on page 9, the statement of recognised income and expense
and the movements in equity on page 10 and the cash flow statement on page 12
are translated at rates current in each period.

The balance sheet on page 11 and the analysis of net debt on page 12 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 2006 will be 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 earnings per share information given below, including the comparative
amounts for 2006, is expressed in terms of the nominal share values which have
applied since 22 May 2006 following the split of NV shares and the consolidation
of PLC shares which were approved at the 2006 AGMs.

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.

In calculating 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 and (ii) the exercise of
share options by employees.

Earnings per share for total operations for the first quarter

                                                                                        2007        2006
Combined EPS                                                                          Thousands of units
Average number of combined share units                                              2 890 542  2 880 783
                                                                                           € million
Net profit attributable to shareholders' equity                                         1 013        990

Combined EPS (Euros)                                                                     0.35       0.34

Combined EPS - Diluted                                                                Thousands of units
Adjusted average number of combined share units                                     2 984 902  2 996 271

Combined EPS - diluted (Euros)                                                           0.34       0.33

Earnings per share in US Dollars and Sterling
Combined EPS (Dollars)                                                                   0.46       0.41
Combined EPS - diluted (Dollars)                                                         0.44       0.40

Combined EPS (Pounds)                                                                    0.23       0.24
Combined EPS - diluted (Pounds)                                                          0.23       0.23


The Annual General Meetings (AGM's) for Unilever N.V. and PLC will be held on 15
May and 16 May respectively.

Appointment of new Chief Financial Officer

The process of appointing a new Chief Financial Officer is well under way.
However, we do not anticipate having a successor to Rudy Markham in place until
after the forthcoming AGM's.  In these circumstances, Rudy will step down, as
planned, from the Boards at the 2007 AGM's, but has agreed to continue to act as
Unilever's Chief Financial Officer until such time as his successor is in place.

The Unilever Global Share Incentive Plan 2007

One of the resolutions being put to the AGM's is the adoption of The Unilever
Global Share Incentive Plan 2007 (the Plan).  The Boards of Unilever have now
agreed the performance conditions for 2007-9, with target ranges for the three
components as follows:

•      Average Underlying Sales Growth: 3.5% to 5.5% p.a.
•      Ungeared Free Cash Flow: €12.2 billion to €13.6 billion
•      Total Shareholder Return (relative to peer group): from the mid-point 
       (position 11 out of 21) to top three (position 1 to 3 out of 21)

Further details can be found in the appendices to the AGM Notices.  There has
been no change to Unilever's long-term financial targets.


The results for the second quarter and for the first half year 2007 will be
published on 2 August 2007.

3 May 2007

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

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