Unilever plans a demerger of its Ice Cream operations

Wednesday, 20 March, 2024

Unilever plans a demerger of its Ice Cream operations

Ice Cream has a different operating model; therefore, the Unilever Board has decided that the separation of its Ice Cream best serves the future growth of both Ice Cream and Unilever.

The separation of Ice Cream is designed to assist Unilever with the implementation of its Growth Action Plan (GAP), announced in October 2023. The plan is focused on doing fewer things, better and with greater impact to drive consistent and stronger topline growth.

The company is confident that the future growth potential of Ice Cream will be better delivered under a different ownership structure. Ice Cream has distinct characteristics compared with Unilever’s other operating businesses. These include a supply chain and point of sale that support frozen goods, a different channel landscape, more seasonality and greater capital intensity.

The separation of Ice Cream will create a business, operating in an attractive category, with brands that together delivered turnover of €7.9 billion in 2023. The business has five of the top 10 selling global ice-cream brands including Wall’s, Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s, with exposure in both the in-home and out-of-home segments across a global footprint.

Under new leadership, Unilever’s Ice Cream is already making operational changes that are expected to drive stronger performance. These include improved productivity and efficiencies, product rationalisation and investment behind innovations.

As a standalone, more focused business, Ice Cream’s management team will have operational and financial flexibility to grow its business and further optimise its manufacturing and logistics network.

Separation activity will begin immediately, with full separation expected by the end of 2025.

Following separation, Unilever will become a simpler, more focused company, operating four Business Groups across Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care and Nutrition.

Image credit: iStock.com/Insan Kamil

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