Unilever reports forecast-beating profit, share buybacks worth up to $3.43B


By Michael Susin

Unilever PLC reported Thursday an increase in net profit for 2021, beating market expectations for the year, and said it plans to launch a share buyback program worth up to $3.43 billion.

The Anglo-Dutch retailer–which owns consumer brands such as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove soap–posted a net profit of 6.05 billion euros ($6.91 billion) for the year compared with EUR5.58 billion for 2020 and a consensus of EUR5.79 billion, taken from FactSet and based on 11 analysts’ estimates.

Adjusted operating profit–one of the company’s preferred metrics, which strips out exceptional and other one-off items–was EUR9.6 billion compared with EUR9.4 billion in 2020 and a company-compiled consensus of EUR9.51 billion.

Unilever said it is planning a share buyback program worth up to EUR3 billion for 2022-23, which is expected to start in the first quarter.

Turnover rose to EUR52.44 billion from EUR50.72 billion for the year-earlier period, driven by a positive impact of acquisitions despite currency exchange headwind. Turnover was expected to rise to EUR52.11 billion for 2021.

The board declared a fourth-quarter dividend of EUR0.4268 a share, the same as the previous year.

Write to Michael Susin at michael.susin@wsj.com

This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.

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