Contrary to earlier reports, Unilever has now announced it will look into divesting its tea branch - including such brands as Lipton - as the FMCG giant suffered major blows in 2019.
Unilever's turnover went up 2 % to 52 billion euros in 2019, but its net profit took a bad hit and went down 38 % to 6 billion euros. The group's underlying turnover growth, which excludes one-offs, was 2.9 %. It had been clear for a while that the FMCG giant was not going to reach its earlier targets, due to difficulties in Southern Asia and Western Africa. The previous underlying turnover growth target was 3 %.
The Anglo-Dutch group wants to reevaluate its tea branch, which was good for three billion euros in turnover last year. In November 2019, rumours about divesting its tea division had already surfaced (with PepsiCo being named as a potential buyer), but a spokesperson said at that time that selling its flagship brand Lipton was not on the cards