“We have and will continue to respond across our categories and markets, taking appropriate pricing action and implementing a range of productivity measures to offset increased costs,” he added in a Unilever trading update.

The world is experiencing strong inflation as economies reopen from pandemic lockdowns amid supply constraints and strong demand.

Costs of raw materials and energy are surging, while a number of sectors are impacted additionally by a need to pay higher wages as they struggle to find staff.

Unilever, whose products include Magnum ice-cream, Cif surface cleaner and Dove soap, said its sales jumped 4.0 per cent to 13.5 billion euros ($15.7 billion) in the third quarter.

“The group has been raising prices to defend its margins against a panoply of higher costs... but at some cost to sales volumes in the quarter” to the end of September, noted Steve Clayton, fund manager at Hargreaves Lansdown.