Unilever sees tough year as markets slow

Unilever has said that 2012 will be a difficult year as growth in emerging markets, such as Brazil and India, slows and demand in Europe the North America remains flat.

The gloomy outlook sent shares in the consumer goods giant, which is behind brands such as Dove and Marmite, sharply down by more than 3%.

Finance director Jean-Marc Huet said growth in emerging markets such as Africa, Asia and Latin America stayed strong but the company needed to do better in Russia and eastern Europe where its performance was sluggish.

“We have seen a deceleration in some markets and one or two are now more difficult, so our focus is on Russia and eastern Europe where we need to improve,” Reuters reported.