Jun 4, 2018

Unilever looks to be stepping up its beauty regime

Ms Ergun said she found "It unconvincing that the company would alter a key division's name for a business that represents less than 1 per cent of group sales. We would not be surprised if Unilever bulks up its beauty offering via larger acquisitions." Unilever bought the Dermalogica, Murad, REN and Kate Somerville brands in 2014 and 2015. Mr Pitkethly's emphasis on "Prestige" brands suggests that Unilever has bigger ambitions in upmarket cosmetics. Paul Polman, chief executive, said in July 2015 that Unilever was already "a major player, right away now, in that prestige segment . . . we are rapidly approaching €500m [in sales] - €400m-plus at the moment". Ms Quiroga-Thiele said a more realistic ambition for Unilever might be to target smaller cosmetics companies but pointed out that many of these too would need the agreement of controlling shareholders.

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