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LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Price increases helped Unilever report a smaller-than-expected slowdown in third-quarter sales on Thursday.
The maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Dove soap reported underlying sales growth of 3.2 percent for the latest three months. Analysts on average expected growth of 2.9 percent, according to a company-supplied consensus, a slowdown from 4.7 percent in the first half of the year.
The company in July said it was expecting full-year sales to grow 3-5 percent, with margins improving in the historical range of 0.3-0.4 percentage points, rather than the 0.5 points it delivered in the first half.
It had flagged a worsening of performance, due to tougher comparisons with an unusually strong third quarter last year and deterioration of economic conditions in markets such as Brazil and Argentina. (Reporting by Martinne Geller in London; Editing by Alexander Smith)