Unilever's new CEO Hein Schumacher on Thursday outlined a plan to tackle part of the business underperformance and simplify it in order to achieve the board's middle-term targets through production optimization and focusing investments.

 

-- The Anglo-Dutch retailer--which owns consumer brands such as Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Dove soap--will focus on developing its 30 main brands, which together are responsible for 70% of the group's turnover. Unilever currently owns 400 brands.

 

-- Unilever plans to optimize its portfolio and step away from major acquisitions as it seeks to boost value creation by improving its existing business.

 

-- Production is set to be simplified in order to rebuild margins through improved productivity instead of gross savings. This will be achieved by bringing together research and development efforts, as well as working on the portfolio synergies. "We need to dial up the strength we already had, and we need to be much sharper," Schumacher said.

 

-- The CEO also outlined a new performance-oriented leadership culture. It includes a change in the remuneration structure with an annual performance review and a better line of sight on remuneration increases for the company's more than 15,000 office employees.

 

-- The action plan is expected to drive growth and to help the company reach its middle-term targets of underlying sales growth of 3% to 5%, modest margin expansion and mid-teens return on invested capital.

 

Write to Barcelona editors at barcelonaeditors@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 26, 2023 08:01 ET (12:01 GMT)

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