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Unilever, 2020 turnover drops to 50.7 billion euros (-2.4%)

The fourth quarter weighs (-4.2%) and the exchange rate effect. It's boom for The Vegetable Butcher

Unilever recorded revenues of € 50.7 billion in 2020, down 2.4%, mainly due to the negative impact of 5.4% of balance sheet items related to currency, after 12 months characterized by market volatility due to the impact of Covid-19. Sales increased in Asia / Amet / Rub and the Americas by 0.4% and 6.2% respectively, while Europe saw a 1% decline. Overall, e-commerce recorded 61% growth in 2020.

In the last quarter, the company posted revenues of € 12.1 billion, down 4.2%.

CEO Alan Jope said: "In an unstable and unpredictable year, we have demonstrated Unilever's resilience and agility during the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, we refocused business on competitive growth and on profits and cash management as the best way to maximize value. We made a radical change in operations by focusing on the fundamentals of growth. As a result, we gained market leadership in more than 60% of our business in the last quarter. The business generated an operating profit of € 9.4 billion and a free cash flow of € 7.7 billion, an increase of € 1.5 billion".

The results are Unilever’s first since the company completed the unification of its group legal structure, moving to a single parent company. (See EFA News article of 30-11-20). Jope added: “While volatility and unpredictability will continue throughout 2021, we begin the year in good shape and are confident in our ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment”.

In the Foods & Refreshment area, the group achieved revenues of 19.1 billion euros. Retail sales have grown double-digit, thanks to confinements that have led to more home dining opportunities for consumers. Sales at Horeca fell 30% as out of home channels were closed for much of the year. The Hellmann brand grew, supported by the Stay In (spired) campaign, while the vegetable brand The Vegetarian Butcher grew by over 70%. Despite the significant decline in the Horeca business, the ice cream area experienced slight growth. Ben and Jerry have achieved excellent results, collaborating with Netflix on its new variant "Netflix and Chill". Eventually, the tea grew in a single digit.

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EFA News - European Food Agency