Q1 2023: reviews of some global brands

By Felicia Nwosu

The first quarter of 2023, no doubt, has both its good and not so good stories for brands. This is not surprising as reports from global economic bodies and expert reports have predicted a slowdown in the global economy. According to the World Economy Outlook published by The International Monetary Fund, IMF the “outlook is uncertain again amid financial sector turmoil, high inflation, ongoing effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and three years of COVID.

“The baseline forecast is for growth to fall from 3.4 percent in 2022 to 2.8 percent in 2023, before settling at 3.0 percent in 2024. Advanced economies are expected to see an especially pronounced growth slowdown, from 2.7 percent in 2022 to 1.3 percent in 2023. In a plausible alternative scenario with further financial sector stress, global growth declines to about 2.5 percent in 2023 with advanced economy growth falling below 1 percent. Global headline inflation in the baseline is set to fall from 8.7 percent in 2022 to 7.0 percent in 2023 on the back of lower commodity prices but underlying (core) inflation is likely to decline more slowly. Inflation’s return to target is unlikely before 2025 in most cases.”

Correspondingly, the quarter has been a tale of different strokes for different folks for global brands. While some notable global brands have demonstrated strong financial revenues in the last quarter, and optimistic of sustaining the momentum come end of second quarter the story has not been so good for others.

To refresh our audience memory, MARKETING EDGE dug out some of the revenue earnings of some leading global brands on how they fared last quarter in their financial reports.


For PepsiCo, its revenue for the month ending March 31, 2023 was $88.038B, with 8.89% increase year-over-year. PepsiCo annual revenue for 2022 was $86.392B, an 8.7% increase from 2021. PepsiCo annual revenue for 2021 was $79.474B, a 12.93% increase from 2020. PepsiCo annual revenue for 2020 was $70.372B, a 4.78% increase from 2019.

The global CSD leader having  lifted its projections for 2023 said,  “Given the strength of our business performance, we now expect our full-year 2023 organic revenue to increase 8 per cent (previously 6 per cent) and our core constant currency earnings per share to increase 9 per cent (previously 8 per cent),” it said


This global ecommerce retail leader in its Q1 2023 revenues witnessed about $127.4 billion which were a 9 percent increase over the previous year quarter of $116.4 which were in line with consensus estimates. Amazon Q1 2023 operating income of $4.8 billion versus $3.7 billion in the prior year quarter, up 26 percent excluding foreign exchange. Amazon’s advertising has continued to be on the positive with revenue growing 23% year-over-year to $9.51 billion.


Meta also reported that its ad revenue increased by about 4.1% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the year-earlier period. Advertising revenue was for Q1 2023 was $28.1 billion, an increase of 4.1% compared to the same period in 2022 ($27.0 billion).

Total Meta revenue for Q1 2023 was $28.6 billion, an increase of 2.6% compared to the same period in 2022 ($27.9 billion).


Following the result of earnings release by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, total worldwide revenue for Google in Q1 2023 came in at $69.8 billion, of which $54.5 billion was from Google advertising. This includes revenue from Google search, ads on YouTube, and the Google network. This demonstrated that Google advertising contributed to less than 80% in revenue In Q1 2023 Vs. Q1 2022.

A break-down of its earning from 2022 showed that, in Q1 2022, Google advertising contributed $54.66 billion to total revenues, representing approximately 80.4% of total revenues ($54.66 billion / $68.01 billion) to total revenues, representing approximately 78.2% of total revenues ($54.55 billion / $69.79 billion).

The contribution of Google advertising as a percentage of total revenues decreased by approximately 2.2 percentage points, indicating a slowdown in its contribution to overall revenue.

Procter & Gamble

The Procter & Gamble Company reported third quarter fiscal year 2023 net sales of $20.1 billion, an increase of four percent versus the prior year. Organic sales, which excludes the impacts of foreign exchange and acquisitions and divestitures, increased seven percent

For The Procter Gamble Company Stock (PG) price forecast for 2025, a forecast is offered for each month of 2025 with average PG price forecast of $167.02, a high forecast of $174.58, and a low forecast of $137.12. P & G also raised its forecast for organic sales growth for fiscal 2023 to 6%, up from its prior range of 4% to 5%.

Here’s what the company reported for the quarter ended March 31 compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey by Refinitiv.

Earnings per share were $1.37 vs. $1.32 as expected, while revenue stood at $20.07 billion vs. $19.32 billion expected. P&G reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $3.4 billion, or $1.37 per share, up from $3.36 billion, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales rose 4% to $20.07 billion. Organic sales, which strip out the effects of foreign currency, acquisitions and divestitures, increased 7% in the quarter.

But the company’s volume, which excludes price and currency changes, fell 3% as consumers opted for cheaper alternatives. Across its portfolio, P&G’s prices were up 10% year over year. The company once again raised prices in the U.S. and Europe during the fiscal third quarter,  which Andre Schulten,  its Chief Financial Officer, said this marked the fourth consecutive quarter of shrinking volume for the consumer giant


For the just concluded first quarter, Coca-Cola reported earnings of $118.1 million. The company said it had net income of $12.57 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $16.23 per share. The Coca-Cola bottler posted revenue of $1.57 billion in the period.

Meanwhile, its operating income increased 43.3% to Ps. 2,713 million in the first quarter of 2023, resulting in an operating margin expansion of 290 basis points to 11.4%. This increase was driven mainly by higher gross profit and an increase in operating leverage resulting from volume growth and operating expense efficiencies. It revealed that, “We are confident in our ability to deliver on our 2023 objectives


“Unilever has had a good start with the year, delivering another quarter of strong topline growth, with its underlying sales growth accelerated to 10.5%. This it stated, is driven by price growth in response to continued high input cost inflation and an improved volume performance. According to the company, the growth was broad-based across business groups and geographies

Also, its Price growth remained elevated at 10.7 percent, with an improved quarter-on-quarter volume performance at (0.2)%  while turnover increased 7.0% to €14.8 billion, including a currency impact of (0.4)% and (2.8)% from disposals net of acquisitions

It also stated that, it’s billion+ Euro brands, accounting for 54 percent of Group turnover, delivered underlying sales growth of 12.1 percent, led by strong performances from brands such as OMO, Hellmann’s, Rexona and Lux. With continued portfolio reshaping with the announced sale of the Suave brand in North America , Third €750 million share buyback tranche, announced in March, will complete in July 2023 as well as it quarterly interim dividend for Q1 2023 is maintained at €0.4268.

Meanwhile, Unilever Nigeria Plc., on its part, The Q1 financial report of the company for the period ended March 2023, showed that it was able to lift profit by close to one-half to N2.67 billion from less than 20 percent growth in turnover.

It indicated that costs grew generally at a slower pace than revenue, which stretched out margins and enabled profit to advance two and half times as fast as sales revenue.

The company is maintaining the turnaround strategy of aggressive trimming of input cost that worked for it in the final quarter of last year when a break-out profit of N6.3 billion overturned a third quarter (Q3) loss to deliver profit for the second year.


Total reported sales increased by 5.6% to CHF 23.5 billion (3M-2022: CHF 22.2 billion). Foreign exchange decreased sales by 4.0%. Net acquisitions had a positive impact of 0.3%.

Its organic growth reached 9.3%, with broad-based contributions across geographies and categories. Pricing was 9.8%, reflecting significant cost inflation. Real internal growth (RIG) was -0.5%.

For the full -year 2023 outlook , it confirmed that it expects organic sales growth between 6% and 8% and underlying trading operating profit margin between 17.0% and 17.5%,  together with an underlying earnings per share in constant currency is expected to increase between 6% and 10%.

The company has reiterated that, “Following a strong start to the year, we confirm our full-year 2023 outlook and remain focused on creating value for all stakeholders”.

Also, Nestlé has also revealed that its plans high spend for the year ahead, with hope to boost sales through aggressive advertising. CEO Mark Schneider has said there is need to introduce a new paradigm shift with a view to increasing advertising spend this year.

“Just because Q1 came in stronger than expected, there is no change in plans here when it comes to our marketing spend going forward”. This suggests that Nestlé’s outright marketing spend, which was already penned for an increase this year, will grow even faster than originally expected.



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