Operational highlights - At a glance

Two billion consumers worldwide use a Unilever product on any given day. Our products make small but important differences to the quality of people’s everyday lives.


Unilever is one of the leading suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods, with products on sale in more than 190 countries. Our strong portfolio of foods, home and personal care brands is trusted by consumers the world over – they buy 170 billion packs of our products every year.

We make some of the world’s best known brands, with leadership positions in many of the categories in which we compete. With the addition of Magnum and Sunsilk last year, we now have 14 brands with sales of more than €1 billion a year, and these brands accounted for almost 50% of Unilever’s growth in 2012.

Our top 14 brands with sales of more than 1 billion euros are Axe/Lynx, Dove, Dirt is Good laundry, Becel/Flora, Heartbrand ice creams, Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rama, Rexona, Sunsilk and Surf. We are the world’s number one in categories such as savoury, dressings, tea, ice cream, spreads, deodorants and mass skincare and the world number two in laundry and daily hair care. We hold strong local positions in oral care and household cleaning.


In 2012, we continued to make good progress in the transformation of Unilever into a sustainable growth company. We exceeded €50 billion turnover, with all regions and categories contributing to growth. Despite further cost increases and volatile commodity markets, our gross margin rose by 0.1 percentage points and our core operating margin by 0.3 percentage points, reflecting the disciplined implementation of our strategy.

  • Turnover is up 10.5% at €51.3 billion with net acquisitions contributing 1.1% and currency changes 2.2%
  • Underlying sales growth of 6.9% is well balanced between volume +3.4% and price +3.3%
  • Emerging markets grew underlying sales by 11.4%, now representing 55% of turnover.

Below we show our 2012 performance in charts:

Turnover (2012)


Operating profit (2012)