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Unilever to Spin Off Ice Cream Business in Cost-Cutting Move

by Alice

Consumer goods giant Unilever announced plans to spin off its ice cream business, including the iconic Ben & Jerry’s brand, as part of a major cost-saving initiative. The move will result in the elimination of 7,500 jobs and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. CEO Hein Schumacher hinted that the Netherlands is a likely candidate to host the listing of the spun-off division.

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This decision comes as part of Schumacher’s agenda to simplify Unilever’s business and boost its performance. His predecessor faced criticism for expanding the portfolio to the point of distraction from top-selling brands. Ice cream, a volatile business segment, has been dragging down Unilever’s performance for some time. By focusing on 30 key brands that account for 70% of sales, Schumacher aims to achieve mid-single-digit underlying sales growth and improve margins.

The need for change was underscored by Unilever’s fourth-quarter earnings report, which revealed a slower-than-expected recovery of lost market share. The company aims to save approximately $869 million in costs over the next three years.

While rivals like Procter & Gamble have seen mixed results due to price hikes and weakened demand, Unilever is determined to streamline its operations and improve its performance culture. The spin-off of the ice cream business is seen as a strategic move to allow the segment to reach its full potential under a different structure.

This decision marks a significant shift for Unilever, and its success remains to be seen. However, it underscores the company’s commitment to focusing on its core strengths and delivering improved results for shareholders.

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