COVID-19: Unilever aborts 2020 forecast; initiates plans to pay interim dividend

COVID-19: Unilever aborts 2020 forecast; initiates plans to pay interim dividend

- Unilever PLC has announced plans of withdrawing its 2020 forecast due to the economic effects of the coronavirus

- The company revealed that its inability to assess the economic impact of the pandemic has compelled it to pay its quarterly interim dividend

- Unilever's first-quarter turnover increased by 0.2% to 12.40 billion euros ($13.42 billion)

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Unilever PLC, on Thursday, April 23, 2020, revealed it can no longer rely on its 2020 forecast.

The company indicated that it is cannot readily assess the impact of the coronavirus and for that reason, it plans to pay its quarterly interim dividend.

It added that underlying sales for the first three months of the year were flat.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 'forces' MTN Group to offer 15% stake to subscribers in phases

This, it believes, is because a sharp decline in shopping and restaurant trips in China during much of the quarter offset gains from stay-at-home consumers stockpiling its soups and laundry detergent in Europe and North America.

Per a report by, the company’s first-quarter turnover increased by 0.2% to 12.40 billion euros ($13.42 billion).

Analysts projected that this led to a miss of a targeted 12.77 billion euros.

Unilever is of the view that China suffered a significant decline as the lock-down measures restricted out of home eating and shopping trips across much of the quarter, and a lockdown in India from mid-March severely limited the flow of goods and led to a decline in South Asia.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Alan Jope, noted that Unilever is reviewing all areas of cash generation and usage as well as re-evaluating all costs in light of the health crisis.

In other news, the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) has announced a 700% rise in the use of instant pay (GIP) services in the first quarter of the year 2020. has learned that the use of the service jumped to 1,007,510 between January and March 2020, compared to 126,925 transactions during the same period in 2019.

The GhIPPS service allows users to electronically transfer funds from one bank account to another or to a Mobile Money wallet.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Kasapreko to provide over 200,000 bottles of sanitisers daily; not for profit

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