Unilever confirms exit from margarine business


Unilever has started taking steps to sell its margarine spreads business, which includes brands such as Flora and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (which was renamed to I Can’t Believe It’s So Good With Everything).

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The consumer goods giant is also planning to buy back €5bn (£4.3bn) and raise its dividend by 12%, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Rumours of the move were circulating two weeks ago, and the decision is reportedly aimed at appeasing shareholders who felt Unilever should have engaged with Kraft Heinz’s merger bid.

In the statement, chief executive Paul Polman also discussed plans to integrate Foods and Refreshment into a single unit to create a “leaner more focused business that will continue to benefit from our global scale and footprint.”

The company is targeting operating margins, excluding restructuring costs, of 20% by 2020.

MullenLowe has been the creative agency of record for Flora since 2015 when it won the account off Adam&EveDDB.