Unilever’s zero-based budgeting drive is paying off; the Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant reported pre-tax profits of €3.6 billion for the first half of the year, up 6 percent on the same period in 2015 on a constant currency basis (1 percent at actual rates).

However, the Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant warned that the wider economy remains fragile. “Consumer demand remained weak and in the markets in which we operate volumes have slowed further, with market volume growth low in emerging markets and negative in Europe and in North America,” commented Unilever CEO Paul Polman.

Sales for the first six months of the year reached a better-than-expected €26.3 billion, up 4.7 percent in constant currency terms but down 2.6 percent at actual rates. Growth was driven by the Latin American region, where higher prices prompted an 8 percent rise in value terms (2.2 percent in volume).