Unilever on January 31 reported underlying sales growth of 2.9 percent for the fourth quarter, below the 3.5 percent implied by analysts' forecasts provided by the company.
Sales growth was 2.9%, far below the forecast of 3.5%, full year sales growth was 3.1% with an annual turnover of £43.4bn.
Unilever shares were down around 3 percent to 45.87 euros at 1021 GMT on January 31.
But he said he expects market conditions to remain challenging in 2019.
The Anglo-Dutch group, which is working to move on from last year's botched plan to shift its main headquarters to the Netherlands, had said full-year sales growth would be at the bottom end of its 3 to 5 per cent forecast range.
He added: "For us to move up into the top half of our guidance range we would need to see a sustained recovery in Latin America and the continuation of the progress we are seeing in south-east Asia".
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Unilever is also preparing for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union without a deal, stockpiling a few weeks' worth of extra inventory of some products to guard against supply disruptions.
Unilever's ice creams are produced on the Continent.
He maintained that Unilever is on track for its 2020 goals. Underlying sales growth excluding the spreads business sold a year ago is up a creditable 3.1%.
Despite last year's exacting market conditions, the compounding star turn's enviable portfolio of global brands and emerging markets presence helped Unilever shrug off sluggish, ultra-competitive developed markets.
In the fourth quarter, Unilever blamed Argentina, which makes up 2.5 percent of its overall business, for hyperinflation that led prices to spike more than 50 percent and therefore volume to fall more than 20 percent.
For the most part, sales volume in the Americas was flat, as improvement in pricing was offset by volume slides.
Shares fell 2.9% to 3,945p.