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Unilever Profits Jump 27 Percent

November 7, 1997

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Anglo-Dutch food and household product giant Unilever said Friday its net profit against current exchange rates soared 27 percent to 1.67 billion guilders ($860 million) in the third quarter of 1997.

Unilever said net profit was boosted by lower tax rates and what it described as a ``positive swing in net interest cost.″

The results were above expectations. Analysts had estimated net profit to end between 1.48 billion guilders ($762 million) and 1.59 billion guilders ($819 million).

The group didn’t give an outlook for the full year but said it expects an exceptional charge on operating profit of about 1.6 billion guilders ($824 million), compared with a charge of 620 million guilders ($319 million) in 1996. The charge stems from stepping up the pace of Unilever’s restructuring program.

In addition to these charges, Unilever said an extra charge of 550 million guilders ($283 million) will be taken below operating profit in the fourth quarter for the disposal of obsolete plants and equipment.

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