Unilever knocked by price war

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Consumer goods giant Unilever, whose brands include Flora spread and Magnum ice cream, has reported lower revenues for 2014 after a slowdown in emerging markets and a fierce price war in Europe.

A weaker than expected performance in the final three months of the year, when Unilever experienced a 0.4 per cent drop in sales volumes, disappointed City investors as shares fell by more than 2 per cent.

Chief executive Paul Polman admitted it had been a challenging year for the industry, adding that the company was not expecting a significant improvement in market conditions this year.