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Unilever: growth momentum accelerates in third quarter

( - Unilever, the world's fourth-biggest food and consumer goods group, beat forecasts with a 4.
4% increase in third-quarter underlying sales.

The maker of Dove soap and Lipton tea said growth accelerated compared to the second quarter, driven by hand and home hygiene products and food consumed at home.

The Anglo-Dutch consumer products group said volume increased by 3.9%, while prices rose 0.5%. Its e-commerce business jumped by 76% over the last quarter.

"The environment we are operating in will remain unpredictable in the near term, so we will continue to maintain the speed and agility of our response," CEO Alan Jope said.

"Our focus remains volume-led competitive growth, delivering absolute profit and free cash flow," he added.

Unilever said it continues to advance its strategic change agenda after proposals to simplify the dual-headed legal structure received support from both NV and PLC shareholders.

Unilever shares fell 0.4% on Thursday morning on the benchmark FTSE 100 index. At the same time, Unilever NV shares were flat on Euronext Amsterdam.

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