Unilever has unveiled a broad strategic revamp in bid to shore up investor support in the wake of a failed takeover approach for the multinational from Kraft Heinz.
In a statement on Thursday, the consumer group said it would combine its foods and refreshments businesses and dispose of its underperforming spreads business, which encompasses Flora and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
Unilever said combining its food and refreshment division, would “unlock future growth and faster margin progression”.
Unilever said that the plans unveiled on Thursday would potentially unlock billions of dollars in savings and return billions more to shareholders by increasing its dividend 12 percent. The company also said it would seek to buy back 5 billion euros, or about $5.3 billion, in stock.
The moves reflect “increased confidence in the outlook for profit growth and cash generation,” Unilever said in a statement on its website on Thursday.
“The faster pace of change that we are seeing in our markets and competitive set requires us to continue to set the bar higher,” Chief Executive of Unilever, Paul Polman said in the statement.
Globally, foods and refreshments account for nearly half of Unilever’s overall revenue, whereas in India, they account for less than a fifth.