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    NEW YORK, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Unilever today announced net earnings of US $553 million at current exchange rates for the third quarter 1991 on sales of $10,721 million.  For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1991, net earnings improved to $1,516 million and sales to $30,941 million.
    Earnings per Fl. 4 ordinary capital were $1.97 (1990: $1.93) for the quarter and $5.40 (1990: $5.13) for the nine months.
    A Unilever spokesman said, "In Europe operating profit declined. However, before exceptional items there was an increase in both margins and profit.  Our ice cream operations made a major contribution to the result following a successful summer season.  Our detergents business also advanced.  The performance of our other businesses, however, reflected the environment of only modest growth.
    "In North America our results benefited from lower exceptional charges.  The performance of our foods business improved.  In the Rest of the World a number of countries improved their performance, notably in Latin America."
    Strong cash flow enabled Unilever's borrowings to be reduced and as a consequence interest costs fell.
    An interim dividend of 5.03p per 5p ordinary PLC (1990: 4.86p) and Fl. 1.48 per Fl. 4 ordinary N.V. capital (1990: Fl. 1.44) were declared today.
    The directors of Unilever announced the group's consolidated results for the third quarter and first nine months of 1991, and the interim ordinary dividends in respect of 1991, as follows:
              (U.S. dollars in millions; unaudited)
                             Third Quarter   Pct.     Nine Months   Pct.
                             1991     1990   Inc.    1991     1990  Inc.
    Turnover               $10,721  $10,294   4    $30,941  $29,955   3
    Operating profit         1,062    1,009   5      2,749    2,756
    Income from fixed
     investments                37       23            110       75
    Interest (net)            (128)    (148)          (393)    (438)
    Profit before taxation     971      884   10     2,466    2,393   3
    Taxation on profit
     of the year              (357)    (336)          (902)    (883)
    Taxation adjustments
     previous years             13        2             87       19
    Outside interests          (28)     (24)           (79)     (67)
    Net profit at constant
     1990 exchange rates       599      526   14     1,572    1,462   8
    Net profit at exchange
     rates current in
     each period               553      540    2     1,516    1,438   5
    Combined earns. per share:
    Per Fl.4 of ordinary
     capital                  1.97     1.93    2      5.40     5.13   5
    Per 20p of ordinary
     capital                  1.18     1.16    2      3.24     3.08   5
                          Third Quarter
    Net profit for the third quarter, at constant rates of exchange, increased by 14 percent over the corresponding period last year to $599 million.  Profit before taxation rose by 10 percent to $971 million.
    At the average rates of exchange for each period net profit increased by 2 percent in dollars, 11 percent in guilders and 12 percent in sterling over the corresponding quarter of last year.
                        Regional Breakdown
                     (U.S. dollars in millions)
                                  Third Quarter         Nine Months
                                  1991      1990       1991     1990
     Europe                     $ 6,461   $ 6,301    $18,618  $18,247
     North America                2,148     2,030      6,078    5,927
     Rest of the World            2,112     1,963      6,245    5,781
     Total                       10,721    10,294     30,941   29,955
    Operating profit:
     Europe                     $   674   $   700    $ 1,837  $ 1,811
     North America                  189       124        329      377
     Rest of the World              199       185        583      568
     Total                        1,062     1,009      2,749    2,756
    Operating margin (in percent):
     Europe                       10.4       11.1       9.9      9.9
     North America                 8.8        6.1       5.4      6.4
     Rest of the World             9.4        9.4       9.3      9.8
     Total                         9.9        9.8       8.9      9.2
    Exchange Rates:  The results for 1991 and the comparative figures for 1990 have been translated at constant average rates of exchange, being the annual average rates for 1990.  For the reporting currencies there were 1 pound equals Fl. 3.24 equals $1.78.  In addition the net profit and earnings per share have been translated at the average rates current in each period.  For the reporting currencies these were:
    Third quarter
    1991             1 pound equals Fl. 3.31 equals US $1.70
    1990             1 pound equals Fl. 3.33 equals US $1.86
    Nine months
    1991             1 pound equals Fl. 3.31 equals US $1.77
    1990             1 pound equals Fl. 3.22 equals US $1.73
    The boards today declared interim dividends in respect of 1991 on the ordinary capitals at the following rates which are equivalent in value at the rate of exchange applied in terms of the equalization agreement between the two companies:
    N.V.    Per Fl. 4 ordinary capital - Fl. 1.48 (1990: Fl. 1.44)
    PLC     Per 5p ordinary share - 5.03p (1990: 4.86p)
    The N.V. interim dividend will be payable as from Dec. 19, 1991.
    The PLC interim dividend will be paid on Dec. 31, 1991, to shareholders registered on Dec. 5, 1991.
    For the purpose of equalizing N.V.'s and PLC's dividends under the equalization agreement, the Advance Corporation Tax ( ACT') in respect of any dividend paid by PLC has to be treated as part of the dividend. PLC's 1991 interim dividend now announced has been calculated by reference to the current rate of ACT (25/75ths); if the effective rate applicable to payment of the dividend is different the amount will be adjusted accordingly and a further announcement made.
                Dividend on New York Shares of N.V.
    The N.V. interim dividend, when converted at today's Guilder/Dollar rate of exchange current in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, represents $0.795827 per New York Share of Fl. 4 (1990 - $0.855869) before deduction of Netherlands withholding tax.  U.S. dollar checks for the interim dividend, after deduction of Netherlands withholding tax at the appropriate rate, will be mailed on Dec. 18, 1991, to holders of record of New York shares at the close of business on Nov. 19, 1991.
                Dividend on American Shares of PLC
    Each American share of PLC represents four 5p ordinary shares of PLC.  The PLC interim dividend will therefore be 20.12p -- approximately $0.3573 per American share at yesterday's Bank of England closing sterling/dollar rate of exchange.  If converted at that rate and after deduction of 15 percent U.K. withholding tax on the aggregate of the declared dividend and the ACT in respect thereof the interim dividend for holders resident in the United States would be $0.4049 per American share (1990 - $ 0.4142 actual payment).
    U.S. dollar checks for the interim dividend converted at the sterling/dollar rate of exchange current in London on Dec. 31, 1991, will be mailed on Jan. 7, 1992, to holders of record of American shares at the close of business on Dec. 5, 1991.
    The provisional results for the fourth quarter and for the year 1991, and the proposed final dividends in respect of 1991, will be published on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 1992.
    -0-                      11/8/91
    /CONTACT:  John T. Gould Jr. of Unilever United States, Inc., 212-906-4694, or after hours, 203-329-7590/
    (UN) CO:  Unilever N.V.; Unilever United States, Inc. ST:  New York IN: SU:  ERN GK-OS -- NY014 -- 0894 11/08/91 11:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 8, 1991

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