Beauty & Wellbeing led Unilever’s volume sales growth for Q1 2024

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

Deodorants saw strong volume sales for Unilever brands in the first quarter of 2024
Deodorants saw strong volume sales for Unilever brands in the first quarter of 2024

Related tags Finance Unilever Prestige beauty Cosmetics Business

Volume sales were up for the British FMCG business in the first quarter of 2024, led by its Beauty & Wellbeing division and ‘Power Brands’.

For Q1 2024, the Unilever Group turnover was €15bn, up 1.4% versus the prior year. Total underlying sales grew by 4.4%, and volume sales were up by 2.2%.

Its Beauty & Wellbeing division was a particular success story in this quarter: underlying sales were up by 7.4%, and volumes grew by 5.6%, which it said was “driven by continued double-digit growth from Health & Wellbeing and Prestige Beauty.”

Meanwhile, the Personal Care division grew 4.8% with 1.4% from volume.

CEO Hein Schumacher noted that the improved volume growth in the first quarter that was driven by its Power Brands, such as Dove and Sunsilk.

The business implemented a growth action plan​ in autumn 2024. And Schumacher said it now had three clear priorities “delivering higher-quality growth, creating a simpler and more productive business, and embedding a strong performance focus.” He noted that the business wanted to “do fewer things, better and with greater impact.”

Unilever’s Beauty & Wellbeing division in particular has focused on three key priorities: elevating its core Hair Care and Skin Care brands to increase premiumisation; fuelling the growth of Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing with selective international expansion; and continuing to strengthen its beauty and wellbeing capabilities.

Prestige beauty growth

The business’ Prestige Beauty division saw double-digit growth, which Unilever said was led by Tatcha, Hourglass and Living Proof.

Hair Care delivered mid-single digit growth and saw positive volumes and price. 

Notably the Dove hair brand saw high-single digit growth, which Unilever said has been “supported by the launch of Scalp+ Hair Therapy, which is clinically proven to create optimal scalp health and hair density.” 

While Clear, Sunsilk and TRESemmé brands all enjoyed a prosperous quarter.

Core Skin Care grew mid-single digit with the best performances in India and the US. However this was partially offset by declines in North Asia driven by price. 

The Vaseline and Ponds brands both saw good sales results.  

Unilever also referenced Nutrafol, which had made its first foray into skin care with a doctor-formulated daily supplement for women that is designed to tackle the root cause of acne.

Deodorants category grows but body cleansing falls flat

In Personal Care, sales of Deodorants grew in double digits with high-single digit volume sales growth. The category performed well in Europe and Latin America. 

Unilever noted that Dove had launched a Whole Body Deodorant range into the US market with 72-hour odour control, which had helped to boost sales.

Generally Skin Cleansing sales were flat, which the business said had been “impacted by deflation in India and market challenges in Indonesia.” 

Dove’s range of body washes still grew in the high-single digits with mid-single digit volume growth, and Unilever attributed some of this success to its launch of a new premiumised range in the US market. The new Dove Body Washes are infused with clinically proven skin care serums that feature ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, collagen and vitamin C.

Oral Care continued to grow mid-single digit with positive volume and price.

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