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Unilever

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Ad and marketing spend will reach "record levels" in 2001, with marketing budgeted at approximately $4 bil., Unilever says Feb. 7. Continued divestitures of lesser brands will contribute to expanded marketing support for leading brands, Chairman FitzGerald Burgmans announced, noting around 250 additional brands will be divested during the year. Global personal care sales grew 6% for the quarter and year, closing 2000 at $10.4 bil. ([Euro]11.32 bil.) and the quarter at $2.79 bil. ([Euro]3.04 bil.) North American home and personal care volumes grew 4% partly due to strong sales of Dove, Caress, Suave and the relaunch of Salon Selectives, the firm states. Unilever sales increased 7% to $40.22 bil. ([Euro]43.79 bil.) for the year including the Best Foods acquisition and grew 19% to $11.2 bil. ([Euro]12.2 bil.) on constant currency basis. Net profit before tax decreased 39% to $2.45 bil. ([Euro]2.67 bil.) for the year

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Unilever

Increasing sales 5%-6% by 2004 is top strategic priority, Unilever Financial Director Rudy Markham tells analysts during Banc of America Securities Consumer Conference April 2-4. Unilever sales increased 7% to $40.22 bil. for year including Best Foods acquisition (1"The Rose Sheet" Feb. 12, 2000, In Brief). Unilever's brand portfolio has plunged from 1,600 in 1999 to 970, with 250 more brands expected to be culled this year, Markham notes. Company announced it would refocus its portfolio on 400 core brands in 1999 (2"The Rose Sheet," Sept. 27, 1999, p. 8)

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