|Unilever NV / Unilever PLC|
|Phone:||Unilever PLC: +44 (0)20 7822 5252, Unilever NV: +31 (0)10 217 4000|
|Fax:||+44 (0)20 7822 5951|
|Address:||Unilever House, Blackfriars, PO Box 68, London, United Kingdom|
|Parents:||Unilever NV, Unilever PLC|
|Competitors:||Nestlé, Procter & Gamble|
Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch company which owns many of the world's consumer product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products.
Unilever's operations are organized into two units: Foods and Home and Personal Care.
Unilever has two parent companies: Unilever NV in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Unilever PLC in London, United Kingdom. This arrangement is similar to that of Shell. Both Unilever companies have the same directors and effectively operate as a single business. The current non-executive Chairman of Unilever N.V. and PLC is Antony Burgmans while Patrick Cescau is Group Chief Executive.
Unilever employs more than 247,000 people and had a worldwide turnover of €48 760 million in 2002.
Unilever has a portofolio of about 1000 brands, many of them local that can only be found in certain countries. The brands fall almost entirely in two categories as set out below.
Food and beverage brands
Ades, Becel, Ben and Jerry's, Best Foods, Bertolli, Birds Eye, Blue Band, Boursin cheese, Brooke Bond, Calvé, Colman's, Findus, Flora, HB, Hellmann’s, Iglo, Imperial, Knorr, Lawry's and Adolph's, Lipton, PG Tips, Pot Noodle, Ragu, Magnum, Solero, Skippy peanut butter, Slim Fast, Unox, Walls.
Home and personal care brands
Axe, Calvin Klein, Cerrutti, Cif, Comfort, Domestos, Dove, Elizabeth Arden, Hindustan Lever Limited, Impulse, Omo Rexona, Lux, Persil (UK), Pond's Creams, Rinso, Signal, Suave, Surf, Valentino perfumes, Vaseline, Lynx. Aviance,Ayush,Denim
Unilever was created in 1930 by the merger of British soapmaker Lever Brothers and Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie, a logical merger as palm oil was a major raw material for both margarines and soaps and could be imported more advantageously in larger quantities. In the 1930s, the business of Unilever grew and new ventures were launched in Latin America.
By 1980, soap and edible fats contributed just 40% of profits, compared with an original 90%.
In 1984 the company bought the brands Brooke Bond tea, Faberge and Elizabeth Arden, but the latter was later sold (in 2000) to FFI Fragrances.
Unilever acquired Chesebrough-Ponds, the maker of Vaseline, in 1987, which strengthened its position in the world skin care market.
The company later absorbed the American business Bestfoods, strengthening its presence in North America and extending its portfolio of foods brands.
Today the company is fully multinational with operating companies and factories on every continent and research laboratories at Colworth and Port Sunlight in the United Kingdom, Vlaardingen in the Netherlands, Edgewater in the United States, Bangalore in India, and China.
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founding year: 1,930 (+)
number of employees: 247,000 (+)