UNILEVER PLC

UNILEVER PLC

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Company Overview
Unilever PLC, with headquarters in Blackfriars (London), is a manufacturer of branded and packaged goods, primarily foods, detergents, home care and personal products. Unilever is one of the world’s biggest companies with operations around the world. Unilever was established on January 1930 when the Margarine Unie and the Lever Brothers decided to merge their interests on margarine and soap production. The company aims to add vitality to life. Unilever’s products include foods, home and personal care brands such as Bestfood, Knorr, Findus, Birds Eye View and Iglo. The brands are the number one producer of frozen foods in Europe. Unilever is the category leader in margarine and spreads in most European countries and North America, with brands such as Becel (the Netherlands), Flora (UK) and Take Control (US). Unilever is the world’s leading ice cream producer, with brands such as Algida and Wall’s in Europe, and Ben & Jerry’s in the United States. It also produces Magnum snack-sizes and Cornetto miniature and multi-packs. Unilever is the largest seller of packet tea in the world through its Lipton and Brooke Bond brands.
Business Summary
Unilever is one of the world’s suppliers of fast moving consumer goods across Foods and Home and Personal Care categories.
Description and history
Unilever is one of the world’s suppliers of fast moving consumer goods across Foods and Home and Personal Care categories.

History
The Company was incorporated on and admission of its shares to trading on AIM commenced on 11 August 1939.

19th century Although Unilever wasn’t formed until 1930, the companies that joined forces to create the business we know today were already well established before the start of the 20th century.

1900s Unilever’s founding companies produced products made of oils and fats, principally soap and margarine. At the beginning of the 20th century their expansion nearly outstrips the supply of raw materials.

1910s Tough economic conditions and the First World War make trading difficult for everyone, so many businesses form trade associations to protect their shared interests.

1920s With businesses expanding fast, companies set up negotiations intending to stop others producing the same types of products. But instead they agree to merge – and so Unilever is created.

1930s Unilever’s first decade is no easy ride: it starts with the Great Depression and ends with the Second World War. But while the business rationalises operations, it also continues to diversify.

1940s Unilever’s operations around the world begin to fragment, but the business continues to expand further into the foods market and increase investment in research and development.

1950s Business booms as new technology and the European Economic Community lead to rising standards of living in the West, while new markets open up in emerging economies around the globe.

1960s As the world economy expands, so does Unilever and it sets about developing new products, entering new markets and running a highly ambitious acquisition programme.

1970s Hard economic conditions and high inflation make the ’70s a tough time for everyone, but things are particularly difficult in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector as the big retailers start to flex their muscles.

1980s Unilever is now one of the world’s biggest companies, but takes the decision to focus its portfolio, and rationalise its businesses to focus on core products and brands.

1990s The business expands into Central and Eastern Europe and further sharpens its focus on fewer product categories, leading to the sale or withdrawal of two-thirds of its brands.

The 21st century The decade starts with the launch of Path to Growth, a five-year strategic plan, and in 2004 further sharpens its focus on the needs of 21st century consumers with its Vitality mission.

Estabished when the Margarine Unie and the Lever Brothers decided to merge their interests on margarine and soap production

Business Line
Manufacturer of branded and packaged goods, primarily foods, detergents, home care and personal products
Subsidiary
4012208 CANADA INC
Advisor
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP
IPO date
8/11/1939
US SIC Code
2099
Company Address
Unilever House
100, Victoria Embankment
City province or state postal code
EC4Y 0DY, LONDON
Phone: +44 20 7822 6830
Fax:
Country address: UNITED KINGDOM
Website url: www.unilever.com