Shares in Unilever were up on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading ahead of the consumer goods company's fourth quarter and full year results, expected tomorrow.

In November the group, which owns brands such as Lipton's tea and Slim-Fast, reported third quarter results in which underlying sales rose 3.6 per cent. The results were at the upper end of analyst expectations, thanks in part to rising sales in expanding markets in Asia and Africa.

Unilever also continued to place greater emphasis on its personal care products, acquiring last year Alberto Culver.

Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said, "Ahead of the results, market consensus opinion currently denotes a buy".

By 14:55 shares in Unilever were up 1.15 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 1,846.00 pence per share.