Weak consumption in China and India take a toll on Unilever’s sales during third quarter

60% of Unilever’s turnover come from emerging markets.

Citing soft demand in two of its growth markets, China and India, consumer goods giant Unilever said its third quarter sales were weaker than expected,

Emerging markets account for 60% of its business no wonder they have been a key area of focus for Unilever’s Chief Executive Alan Jope since he took the reins in January 2019.

Jope has been focusing investment in countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam where growing populations and an emerging middle class are driving demand for household products.

However, in China and India, two of its biggest emerging markets are showing signs of slowing growth, with irregular monsoons curbing rural spending in India and China’s domestic consumption taking a hit from the ongoing trade war with the United States.

Unilever reported underlying sales growth of 2.9% during the third quarter. Turnover was $14.7 billion (13.3 billion euros), above analysts’ expectation of 13.24 billion euros.

Unilever has stuck to its full-year target for underlying sales growth in the lower half of a 3% to 5% range and to achieve a 20% operating margin in 2020.

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