Paul reported that, despite challenging times, 2010 saw Unilever achieve overall revenue growth of 11%, with underlying volume growth of 5.8% – the company’s highest volume growth in over 30 years.
“Growth is squarely back on the agenda, and we are putting the consumer and the customer first in order to achieve this,” Paul said.
Crucial factors propelling the company forward are its strengths in emerging markets such as India and China, and the rapid growth of its Home and Personal Care portfolio, he added.
Paul also saw growth as resulting from Unilever’s strategic drive to support brands, collaborate closely with retail customers, cut costs, and generate breakthrough innovations.
A further highlight, for Paul, has been Unilever’s recent spate of strategic acquisitions. He cited Sara Lee and Alberto Culver as two prime examples of how Unilever is bolstering its fast-growing personal-care brand portfolio.
The final focus of Paul’s speech was the industry-wide impact of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which sets out sweeping social and environmental targets for 2020.