Corporate Sales: $67.8 billion
Beauty Sales: $23.9 billion (Personal Care)
Key Personnel: Michael Treschow, chairman; Paul Polman, chief executive officer; Jean-Marc Huët, chief financial officer; Genviéve Berger, chief science officer; David Blanchard, chief category R&D officer; Alan Jope, president, North Asia; Kees Kruythoff, president, North America; Jan Zijderveld, president Europe; Dave Lewis, president, personal care; Harish Manwani, chief operating officer; Pier Luigi Sigismondi, chief supply chain officer; Keith Weed, chief marketing and communication officer.
Major Products: Skin care, hair care, deodorants and oral care brands including Axe/Lynx, Dove, Tresemmé, Lifebuoy, Pond’s, Rexona, Signal, Close-Up, Sunsilk, Lux, Vaseline, Tigi.
Dove Men+Care launched a new skin care range to help men care for their faces.
Comments: Unilever’s sales in emerging markets grew by more than 11% for the second year in a row and now account for more than 55% of corporate business, keeping it on an impressive growth path in 2012. The company grew by 30% in four years. In a tough economic climate, this year’s results saw growth across all its markets and categories. Corporate sales for the Anglo–Dutch multinational consumer goods company rose nearly 7% last year to $67.8 billion, driven by a 10% increase in personal care and household product sales.
Personal care volume increased 10% to nearly $24 billion. Market shares increased across all geographies, with strong gains in Latin America, NAMET & RUB (North Africa, Middle East, Turkey and Russia, Ukraine, Belarus) and North America, driven by hair care, deodorants and skin cleansing. Personal Care accounted for 35% of Unilever’s sales.
Kees Kruythoff, president Unilever North America
In part, Unilever credits its strengthening grasp on the global marketplace to its focus on its sustainable living plan. The idea, along with the company’s Compass plan, is based on a vision to double the size of Unilever’s business while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact.
Unilever continued to build on its success from the previous year with what the company refers to as “high impact innovations.” The addition of Magnum and Sunsilk brought Unilever’s holdings to 14 brands with sales of more than €1 billion a year; these brands accounted for nearly half of Unilever’s growth in 2012. The launch of Tresemmé in Brazil last year was one of Unilever’s most successful ever, adding almost €150 million in turnover.
Unilever re-thought—and re-packaged—Vaseline as an instantly effective spray moisturizer.
Hair Care closed the year with a strong quarter of double-digit growth. Tresemmé had an excellent quarter, partially due to vibrant sales in Brazil and recent launches in Indonesia and India. Sales of Dove Damage Therapy continued to climb. Clear also made good progress, completing a good first year among heavy competition in the U.S. market. Sunsilk became a €1 billion brand driven by the growth of the core business as well as successful recent innovations such as the natural oils range.
Innovation also played a key role in generating increased sales in Skin Care. Dove Nutrium Moisture continued to drive growth in body wash and the Dove Purely Pampering range, which was successful in skin cleansing, was extended to hand and body. Dove Men+Care continued to grow while also adding male face care in the UK. Lifebuoy saw sales climb on its core products, the success of Lifebuoy Clini-Care 10 and the recent launch of its color-changing germ protection hand wash in Indonesia and India.
Deodorant growth proved strong due in part to Rexona’s Maximum Protection in Latin America and the extension of the MotionSense technology to North America. Dove deodorant was boosted by the rollout of Dove Men+Care.
In Unilever’s quest to ameliorate global challenges such as access to water, hygiene and sanitation, the company also made progress, with initiatives including the Lifebuoy hand-washing campaign and Dove’s focus on helping adolescent girls around the world with self-esteem.
In the first half of 2013, Unilever sustained its growth momentum.
Hair performed well despite highly competitive markets. Dove benefited from the roll-out of Dove Repair Expertise and Men+Care hair. TRESemmé also delivered broad-based growth, boosted by the Keratin Smooth range and progress in new markets. Sunsilk grew in popularity due to the successful essential oils variant in Indonesia.
Skin cleansing continued its success with the improved Dove Nutrium Moisture shower range and Dove Men+Care. Vaseline growth accelerated, helped by the successful launch of the Spray & Go moisturizer. Pond’s Flawless White BB was rolled out to new markets after the successful launch in Thailand and Pond’s Men entered Indonesia.
TRESemmé shone as the official hair care sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for the 11th consecutive season.
Also in January, Unilever continued to capitalize on its highly successful Axe brand as it celebrated the biggest product launch in its 30-year history—the launch of the Apollo line of products.
In February, packaging directly turned deodorant to additional profits as Unilever introduced its compressed deodorant cans as an aerosol that’s half the size of a traditional can, but lasts just as long. The product was rolled out for Sure, Dove and Vaseline brands. The new deodorants require less propellant to deliver each spray, allowing the can to be reduced in size, resulting in a carbon footprint reduction of 25% on average per can. In addition, the cans use about 25% less aluminum and, due to the smaller size, more can be transported at once.
Later in the month, Dove Men+Care, targeted the growing men’s market, launching a full line to help men care for their faces in three easy steps with a variety of solutions for different men’s skin types.