Unilever's turnover increased by 9.4% in the third quarter to £9.9bn ($15bn) boosted by strong sales for ice cream. New flavours, including Magnum's Pink champagne and Black espresso duo, helped increase sales of refreshments to 8.5%. Unilever also said that the ice cream business did well due to 2015 being the hottest European summer on record.

Unilever chief executive officer Paul Polman said: "The strong delivery in the third quarter shows that our focus to build our company for the long term is paying off. Growth was however helped by some specific factors such as a soft comparator in China, strong ice cream sales and some advanced sales in Latin America."

The company owns more than 400 brands including Magnum, Dove and PG Tips. Sales of personal care items were also up by 6.2% after the launch in China of Dove body wash.

For the remainder of 2015, the company said it is expecting underlying sales to come in around the upper end of 2-4% range. It also predicts that there will be improvement in operating margins.