Unilever Confident on 2007 Profit Margin, Sales Targets

Consumer goods giant Unilever reported a 4.5 percent rise in third-quarter underlying sales on Thursday, and said it was confident of meeting its sales and profit margin targets for 2007.

The quarterly sales growth at Anglo-Dutch Unilever, the maker of Sunsilk shampoo, Knorr soups and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, came after 5.7 and 5.8 percent growth in the first and second quarters, and compares with analyst forecasts of 3.8 to 5.1 percent growth with a consensus of 4.4 percent.

The world's third-biggest food and consumer goods group added it is confident it can achieve its outlook for 2007 which looked for sales growth at the upper end of its 3-5 percent range with an underlying improvement in operating margins.