November 3/Amsterdam/DutchNews -- Unilever booked a 7.8% increase in sales in the third quarter of this year, but that was not enough to boost profits, the company said in a statement.

Increases in the prices of raw materials, such as palm oil, tomatoes and tea, have forced Unilever to put up its own prices by 5.8% - in line with sector peers.

However, pricing pressure means operational margins will be flat or slightly lower this year compared with 2010, the company said.

Sales were up across all divisions, particularly in personal care, while growth in emerging markets reached just over 13.1%. Emerging markets now account for 53% of total turnover, the company said.

“These results are especially encouraging against the backdrop of very uncertain consumer demand, hugely volatile commodity markets, natural disasters and geo-political uncertainty in many parts of the world,” said CEO Paul Polman in a statement.

 From the November 4, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.