According to a Financial Times’ article, Unilever is under pressure to speed up returns to shareholders following the bid from Kraft Heinz, which has raised questions about the consumer products group’s structure and profitability. The Anglo-Dutch conglomerate said this week that it will conduct “a comprehensive review of options available to accelerate delivery of value for the benefit of our shareholders.” Unilever reports this review will be complete in early April.
In a second statement, delivered a few minutes after the first, Unilever said it would boost operating profit margins to meet “the upper end of its 40-80 basis points guidance.” Previously, it had said the margin improvement would be at the lower end of the range. Unilever’s profit margins are half those of Kraft Heinz, suggesting that the business could be run more efficiently.
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