Unilever PLC (HIVE) is a consumer goods holding company based in the United Kingdom Through its subsidiaries, the company manufactures and markets beauty and wellness, personal care, home care, nutrition and ice cream products.
Unilever owns more than 400 brands in 190 countries. Some of these brands include popular names like Dove, Vaseline, Lipton, Hellmann’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation and Sunlight.
To compete in the highly competitive global consumer goods market, Unilever has structured its business model around building well-known, high-quality brands that consumers trust. The company’s main rivals include the Swiss company Nestlé SA (NO), Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), PepsiCo Inc. (ZEST) and Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL).
- Unilever is a global consumer goods company that offers products for beauty and wellness, personal care, home care, nutrition and ice cream.
- The Nutrition segment generates the largest sales, but the largest year-on-year growth was recorded in the Home Care segment.
- The company announced that it will open a new factory in Ukraine in 2024, which will create 100 jobs.
- In 2023, the company announced it would buy Yasso, a premium Greek frozen yogurt brand in the US.
For its fiscal year 2022 (FY), Unilever reported a net profit of €8.2 billion, a 24.9% increase compared to the previous year. Revenue, which the company calls “turnover” and defines it as sales of goods after discounts, sales taxes and estimated returns, rose 14.5% to 60.1 billion euros. Turnover, also referred to as “total turnover” is an income term commonly used in Europe and Asia.
Unilever’s underlying sales growth (USG), which excludes the impact of acquisitions, divestitures, currency fluctuations and excessive price growth in hyperinflationary economy, was 9% compared to 2021. Meanwhile, operating profit for the period was €10.8 billion, up 23.6% from the previous year.
USG was driven by all sales groups and the improvement in underlying operating profit was driven by input cost inflation. A high global inflationary environment that pushed up prices helped sales growth, but weighed on volumes, which declined 2.1%.
Business segments of Unilever
Unilever has five main business segments: Beauty & Wellbeing; Personal care; Home care; Nutrition; and ice cream. It provides a breakdown of revenue (ie turnover) and core operating profit for each of these segments, which we look at in more detail below.
Beauty and well-being
The company’s Beauty & Wellbeing segment consists of sales of the following products: hair care (shampoo, conditioner, styling), skin care (face, hand and body moisturizers) and includes Prestige Beauty and Health & Wellbeing.
For the fiscal year 2022, the turnover of this segment was EUR 12.3 billion; increase in sales by 7.8%. This segment accounted for 20.4% of the total turnover. Underlying operating profit (UOP) was EUR 2.3 billion, representing 23.7% of total UOP.
The company’s personal care segment consists of the following products: skin cleaning (soap, shower), deodorant and oral care (toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash).
For the fiscal year 2022, the turnover of this segment was EUR 13.6 billion; increase in sales by 7.9%. This segment accounted for 22.7% of the total turnover. Underlying operating profit (UOP) was EUR 2.7 billion, representing 27.7% of total UOP.
The Home Care segment mainly consists of the sale of fabric care (washing powders and liquids, rinse conditioners) and a wide range of cleaning products.
For the fiscal year 2022, the turnover of this segment was EUR 12.4 billion; increase in sales by 11.8%. This segment accounted for 20.6% of the total turnover. Underlying operating profit (UOP) was EUR 1.3 billion, representing 13.9% of total UOP.
The Nutrition segment mainly consists of sales of cooking aids (soups, broths, spices), dressings (mayonnaise, ketchup) and tea products.
For the fiscal year 2022, the turnover of this segment was EUR 13.9 billion; increase in sales by 8.6%. This segment accounted for 23.1% of the total turnover. Underlying operating profit (UOP) was EUR 2.4 billion, representing 25.3% of total UOP.
The Ice Cream segment consists of the sale of ice cream products.
For the fiscal year 2022, the turnover of this segment was EUR 7.9 billion; sales growth of 9%. This segment accounted for 13.1% of the total turnover. Underlying operating profit (UOP) was EUR 919 million, representing 9.5% of total UOP.
Unilever’s latest developments
In March 2023, Unilever announced an investment of 20 million euros in a new factory in Ukraine. Construction will begin in 2023 and the factory will open in 2024 and will be located in Kyiv, the country’s capital. The opening of the factory will create one hundred jobs and will produce personal care products.
In June 2023, the company announced the purchase of Yasso, a premium frozen Greek yogurt brand in the United States. The brand will become part of its Ice Cream segment, joining other brands in the portfolio such as Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Talenti.