London — Unilever reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales on Thursday, hurt by inflation in Argentina and flat volume growth in developed markets, in its first set of results since new CEO Alan Jope took charge. The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream said fourth-quarter underlying sales rose 2.9%. Analysts, on average, were expecting 3.5%, a consensus forecast supplied by the company showed. The Anglo-Dutch group, which is working to move on from last year's botched plan to shift its main headquarters to the Netherlands, had said full-year sales growth would be at the bottom end of its 3%-5% forecast range. Looking ahead, it said it expected 2019 market conditions to remain challenging and forecast underlying sales growth again in the lower half of a 3%-5% range, with continued improvement in underlying operating margin and another year of strong free cash flow. It said it remained on track for its 2020 goals. In the fourth quarter, Unilever blamed Argentina, w...

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