Unilever is a British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company co-headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Its products include food and beverages (about 40 per cent of its revenue), cleaning agents, beauty products, and personal care products. It is Europe’s seventh most valuable company. Unilever is one of the oldest multinational companies; its products are available in around 190 countries.
Unilever owns over 400 brands, with a turnover in 2017 of 53.7 billion euros, and thirteen brands with sales of over one billion euros: Axe/Lynx, Dove, Omo, Heartbrand ice creams, Hellmann's, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rexona/Degree, Sunsilk and Surf. It is a dual-listed company consisting of Unilever plc, based in London, and Unilever N.V., based in Rotterdam. The two companies operate as a single business, with a common board of directors. Unilever is organised into four main divisions – Foods, Refreshment (beverages and ice cream), Home Care, and Beauty & Personal Care. It has research and development facilities in the United Kingdom (two), the Netherlands, China, India and the United States.
Unilever was founded on September 2, 1929, by the merger of the Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie and the British soapmaker Lever Brothers. During the second half of the 20th century the company increasingly diversified from being a maker of products made of oils and fats, and expanded its operations worldwide. It has made numerous corporate acquisitions, including Lipton (1971), Brooke Bond (1984), Chesebrough-Ponds (1987), Best Foods (2000), Ben & Jerry's (2000), Alberto-Culver (2010), Dollar Shave Club (2016) and Pukka Herbs (2017). Unilever divested its speciality chemicals businesses to ICI in 1997. In the 2010s, under leadership of Paul Polman, the company gradually shifted its focus towards health and beauty brands and away from food brands showing slow growth.
Unilever plc has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Unilever N.V. has a primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam and is a constituent of the AEX index. The company is also a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index....read more