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What’s behind Unilever’s solid half-year results?


A quick look at the brands, categories and innovations driving our underlying sales growth for the first half of 2023.

  Vaseline’s successful Gluta-Hya product. Vaseline sits within Unilever’s Beauty & Wellbeing business group.

On 25 July, we announced our results for the first half of 2023, which reflected a solid performance: underlying sales were up 9.1%, with 9.4% price growth and -0.2% volume.

Our growth was broad-based across each of our five business groups and underpinned by strong performances from our billion+ euro brands – in particular Rexona, Hellmann’s, OMO, Sunsilk and Lux – which delivered 10.8% USG and now account for 55% of Group turnover.

“Unilever’s performance in the first half highlights the qualities that attracted me to the business: an unmatched global footprint, a portfolio of great brands and a team of talented people,” said Unilever CEO Hein Schumacher, who started in the role on 1 July.

“My early immersion in the business has confirmed my belief in Unilever’s strong fundamentals. The task ahead is to leverage these core strengths – supported by our simplified operating model – to drive improved performance and competitiveness. This is our absolute priority and it will mean bringing greater focus and sharper execution, with science-backed innovations and investment behind our brands.”

Here’s a look at the highlights from each business group, and how innovation from our brands is driving this performance.

Woman standing by car drinking bottle of Liquid I.V. The product sits within Unilever’s Beauty & Wellbeing business group.

Beauty & Wellbeing

In Beauty & Wellbeing, the Hair Care category grew high single-digit with Sunsilk and TRESemmé delivering double-digit growth, helped by successful relaunches.

In the Skin Care category, Vaseline performed strongly, as we extended the successful Gluta-Hya range into the pro age and SPF (Sun Protection Factor) segments, offering additional benefits and bringing new consumers to the brand. Read more about some of Vaseline’s innovations.

Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing delivered another period of volume-led, double-digit growth. In Prestige, Paula’s Choice, Dermalogica and Hourglass delivered strong growth, supported by new product launches backed by cutting-edge science and technology such as Dermalogica’s phyto nature oxygen cream. In Health & Wellbeing, Liquid I.V. continued to perform well, and we launched three sugar-free variants of its hydration technology.

Read more about Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing, and meet Fernando Fernandez, President of our Beauty & Wellbeing business group.

A selection of Sure and Dove products. Sure and Dove are both €1 billion brands.

Personal Care

In Personal Care, the Deodorants category delivered high double-digit growth. Axe grew double-digit as we rolled out the Fine Fragrance range. We launched new variants under Rexona which build on our superior 72-hour technology, delivering high double-digit growth for the brand. The Dove Personal Care portfolio also grew double-digit. Read more about Axe and Rexona here.

Skin Cleansing grew high single-digit, with strong growth in Latin America and South Asia. Oral Care grew high single-digit as we relaunched Pepsodent in South-East Asia.

A box of Persil laundry capsules. Persil sits within Unilever’s Home Care business group.

Home Care

In Home Care, our Fabric Cleaning category grew double-digit. In Europe, we rolled out OMO capsules with plastic-free packaging to more countries, delivering top cleaning performance with less plastic and less chemicals. In China, Comfort Beads were relaunched with improved fragrance that lasts longer.

In Latin America, we introduced the first product range specifically designed for the launderette and hospitality segment, delivering the perfect white wash, under both the OMO and Comfort brand. Our Home & Hygiene category grew mid-single digit.

Read more about Dirt Is Good (also known as OMO, Persil, Skip, Surf Excel, Breeze and Rinso).

A shopper holding a bottle of Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Hellmann’s sits within Unilever’s Nutrition business group.


In Nutrition, our Scratch Cooking Aids category grew high single-digit. Dressings continued to grow double-digit with Hellmann’s driving sales during the Easter and BBQ season, combining the ‘make taste, not waste’ campaign with innovations such as spicy mayonnaise in the US.

Unilever Food Solutions accelerated its double-digit growth through the first half, with China returning to double-digit growth in the second quarter.

Read more about Hellmann’s and Unilever Food Solutions, and meet Hanneke Faber, President of our Nutrition business group.

 selection of Magnum and Wall’s ice creams. Magnum and Wall’s are both €1 billion brands.

Ice Cream

In-home Ice Cream grew low-single digit as volumes continued to be impacted by lower consumption, due to the discretionary nature of the category in an inflationary environment.

Out-of-home Ice Cream grew double-digit with positive price and positive volume. In Europe, poor weather in April and May was largely offset by good weather in June.

Magnum grew high single-digit, with the Starchaser and Sunlover limited-edition innovation performing well. In North America, we launched Talenti mini gelato and sorbetto bars, the perfect indulgent snack to be enjoyed on the go. The Heart brand grew mid-single digit, supported by a new plant-based variant under the Twister range.

Read more about Magnum and Wall’s (Heart brand), and meet Matt Close, President of our Ice Cream business group.

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