Why Unilever Is Surviving Economy Better Than Rivals

Sunday, 8 Jul 2012 | 7:17 PM ET

Unileveris being less affected by challenging global economic conditions than some of its rivals because of its extensive portfolio of brands, Kees Kruythoff, Unilever North America president, told CNBC on Friday.

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“Globally, Unilever is growing quite nicely because we have an emerging markets portfolio,” he said. “For sure, consumers are looking for better value and our portfolio in the US — with the affordable brands we have — is suited to every part of the economy.”

Joseph Altobello, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.,told CNBC last month, that, in contrast to Procter & Gamble, Unilever has done just fine recently increasing revenue.

P&G , the world’s largest consumer products company, recently issued a profit warningciting softness in Europe, weak foreign exchange rates and sliding U.S. sales. Altobello suspects this is a P&G-specific problem because it is losing market share to competitors.

Despite its resilience, whether Americans can keep spending still remains a worry for Unilever. “The economy has always been consumer spending driven and we see that slowing down,” Kruythoff said. “What we’re seeing is that our volumes in the total market are under pressure.”

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