Dove soap and Flora maker Unilever has recorded its weakest sales growth in four years after a slowdown in emerging markets.
The Anglo-Dutch group's performance was also hampered by the sluggish recovery in established markets in North America and Europe.
Underlying sales rose 3.2% in the three months to September but this was the worst quarterly performance since the end of 2009.
Emerging markets, which account for more than half of Unilever's revenues, grew 5.9% but currency weakness in countries such as Brazil and India meant this was down on previous double-digit growth.
Unilever first raised the alarm about weaker sales trends in an unscheduled update last month, causing shares to fall sharply.
However chief executive Paul Polman noted today that growth of 4.4% in the first nine months of this year was ahead of the rest of the market.
He added: "Emerging markets continue to be the main driver of our growth and, despite the current slow-down, they remain a significant growth opportunity which the company is well placed to capitalise on."
Developed markets showed some improvement on previous quarters but still declined by 0.3%, reflecting continued price pressure.
The company is also awaiting a sustained recovery in spreads, which includes the brands Bertolli and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.
As well as price-cutting by rivals, the division has been hit by a recent consumer backlash against a new recipe for Flora.
It has since relaunched the product after shoppers complained about the texture, taste and smell of the popular spread.
In ice cream, sales benefited from good summer weather in northern Europe, but this was offset by weakness in southern Europe and particularly Italy. Brands include Cornetto and Magnum.
The lacklustre performances in the food and refreshment divisions were offset in the personal care and home care categories, with growth in underlying sales of 5.8% and 6% respectively in the quarter.