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Jul 30, 2009
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Indonesia's Unilever profit up 9 percent

By
Reuters
Published
Jul 30, 2009

JAKARTA (Reuters) - PT Unilever Indonesia (UNVR.JK), a unit of Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever (ULVR.L), reported a 9.1 percent rise in second-quarter net profit, based on Reuters calculations, supported by robust sales. Consumer spending is one of the main growth drivers in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, which has a population of 226 million and a growing middle class. Consumption is also expected to climb further after a string of interest rate cuts.


Lux from Unilever Indonesia - Photo: www.unilver.co.id

The central bank has lowered its benchmark interest rate by a total of 275 basis points since December last year to a record low of 6.75 percent in July.

Some bond traders expect the rate to fall as low as 6.0 percent by the end of 2009 and for rates to stay at that level before the central bank starts lifting them in the second half of next year as inflationary pressure picks up.

Unilever -- which produces various consumer products such as soap, detergents, dairy-based foods, tea-based beverages and cosmetics -- said its net profit for April-June rose to 726.2 billion rupiah (44.5 million pounds) from 665.4 billion a year earlier.

Sales climbed 16.7 percent to 4.47 trillion rupiah from 3.83 trillion a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Reuters Estimates forecast the firm, which has a market capitalisation of $9.08 billion, will post a net profit of 2.76 trillion rupiah and revenue of 17.32 trillion rupiah in 2009.

The world's fourth-most populous country is one of the few in the region expected to show positive GDP growth this year, at an estimated 3-4 percent.

(Reporting by Tyagita Silka; Editing by Ed Davies)

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