This excerpt taken from the UN 6-K filed May 7, 2009.
Western Europe - 2.8%: Market growth has been more affected by the global economic downturn than the rest of the world, and slowed further. There has been some down-trading to private label brands. We are stepping up our innovation, for example with the roll-out of new Dove products such as 'hair minimising' deodorant and damage repair shampoo, and strengthening support levels. We expect these actions to result in a better volume development through the rest of the year.
At the start of the year we completed the move to a single IT platform for Europe and are increasingly leveraging this to drive operational synergies across the region.
The operating margin before RDIs was 310 basis points lower than last year in Western Europe, reflecting high commodity costs, the depreciation of sterling, and the impact of lower volumes on fixed cost recovery.