Unilever has lifted its Q1 2017 turnover by 6.1% to €13.3bn, and bumped up its quarterly dividend by 12% to €0.3585 a share as an expression of confidence in its outlook.
"The first quarter shows growth once more ahead of our markets," said the CEO of the consumer goods behemoth, Paul Polman.
"This reflects our continued investment in both innovations and brand support, and reconfirms the strength of our long term sustainable compounding growth model."
Polman said Unilver's change programme 'Connected for Growth' was starting to bear fruit and was making Unilever more agile and closer to the local markets, unlocking both further growth and margin.
"The actions we are taking keep us on track for another year of underlying sales growth ahead of our markets, in the 3-5% range," he added.
"We also expect an improvement in underlying operating margin this year of at least 80 basis points and strong cash flow. We are raising the dividend by 12%, reflecting the confidence in our outlook."