StockMarketWire.com - Consumer goods company Unilever has announced underlying sales growth of 2.9% for the full year 2019 helped by emerging markets and home care division, as profits fell.

Unilever's operating margin and net profit took a hit from the €4.3bn prior year gain from the disposal of spreads.

The company reported net profit of €6bn for the year, down 38.4% on 2018 and is set to review its tea business.

Meanwhile, turnover grew 2% to €52bn, with a positive impact from currency and a negative impact from the spreads disposal.

Free cash flow was up €0.7bn to €6.1bn, which the company attributed to higher underlying operating profit, which grew by €0.5bn.

Unilever chief executive Alan Jope said: 'In 2019 we delivered underlying sales growth of 2.9%, balanced between price and volume, a further year of good margin and earnings progression, and strong free cash flow.

'We saw strong growth from emerging markets and our home care division. Overall growth was slightly below our guided range for the year due to the slowdown we saw in the fourth quarter.'

Jope added: 'We are continuing to evaluate our portfolio and have initiated a strategic review of our global tea business.'

The company confirmed a quarterly dividend payable in March 2020 of €0.41 per share. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com