Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has emerged as a top gainer on the Sensex in early trades, with an upmove of 4 percent as the market expects the company to use multiple levers to improve its operating margins.
The results could boost investor enthusiasm for the maker of Dove soap and Knorr soups, whose shares have gained since February when it swiftly rejected a $143 billion takeover offer from rival Kraft Heinz, which prompted it to undertake a wide-ranging review of its business.
The company, which has a multitude of brands catering to its consumers’ daily needs, is considering selling off its spreads division and has announced share buyback worth USD 5.3 billion this year, apart from raising dividend by 12 percent.
The pledges are the result of a business review at the Anglo Dutch consumer goods maker undertaken following the unsolicited $143 billion bid by the U.S. rival, which Unilever bluntly rejected.
Unilever has even discussed several measures to throttle slowing sales and provide a fillip to volumes in 2017, people privy to the developments told CNBC-TV18.
A combination of mixed global cues as well as implied volatility on expiry day of derivative contracts could keep a check on the market on Thursday. Trends on SGX Nifty indicate a flat opening with a positive bias.
Unilever, which has a head office in London, earlier had spurned the offer, saying the price was too low.
A deal would create a giant in global food, joining the maker of Kraft cheese and Heinz ketchup to its European counterpart, whose products include Q-tips, Hellmann's mayonnaise and Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
US-based Kraft Heinz announced on Friday a proposed USD 143 billion merger with Unilever in what would be one of the biggest deals ever. But the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant has declined, saying in a statement the offer fundamentally undervalues" the company.
Sweden-based indoor air purifier maker Blueair is looking at leveraging HUL's vast sales infrastructure here to tap the Indian market.
Unilever reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales on Thursday, hurt by demonetisation in India and an economic slowdown in Brazil.
Under its 'Udhaar' programme, Just Buy Live offers small retailers structured credit between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 50 lakh.
Ever since Snapchat broke out on the start-up scene and the Dollar Shave Club has picked up by Unilever for USD 1 billion, there is something to be said for the start-up scene in Los Angeles. Syna Dehnugara of CNBC-TV18 caught up with Sonja Rasula, Founder of Unique Markets and Brit Gilmore, President of The Giving Keys in LA.
Consumer goods companies have been grappling with slowing volume sales over the past year, hit by falling household spending across the world, fierce competition from retailers' own-brand products and economic weakness in emerging markets.
The Swiss food giant on Thursday cut its outlook for the year, saying it now expected its full-year sales to rise by 3.5 percent after posting an increase of 3.3 percent for the first nine months. It previously said it expected full-year organic sales to rise by around 4.2 percent.
A commission including chief executives of Unilever and Aviva as well as academics and civil society groups said companies could exploit UN plans to end poverty and hunger and protect the planet by 2030.
"Unilever is pleased to confirm that the supply situation with Tesco in the UK and Ireland has now been successfully resolved," Unilever said.
The dispute between two of Britain's best-known companies shows how the UK's decision to quit the European Union has exacerbated tensions between suppliers and retailers, which are battling for profits as consumers are increasingly savvy about their shopping.
The company, which received funding earlier this year from Mohandas Pai's Arin Capital and Alpha Capital Advisors, operates in cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
Unilever's Home Care business President Nitin Paranjpe said: "The Blueair brand and products are widely known and represent exceptional quality and design, as well as superior capacity and performance. Blueair was founded on the belief that business should be a force for good in society, which is shared by Unilever."
Storyboard spoke to a few interesting people at the Cannes Lions. Among the two very exciting conversations, the first one is with Kayvon Bekypour, Co-Founder & CEO of Periscope and second one is Aline Santos, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing for Unilever. Aline Santos spoke about the problems faced by global brands in local markets.
"We have to assess the situation. Article 50 (which formally triggers the Brexit process) has not yet been filed but all the things we've been talking about (such as uncertainty) you can see it in the market," Unilever CEO Paul Polman told CNBC on Thursday.
The Anglo-Dutch maker of food, home and personal care products said that turnover for the first half of the year fell 2.6 percent to 26.3 billion euros, just missing analyst expectations in a poll supplied by the company of 26.5 billion euros.
Unilever did not disclose the price paid for the California-based company, but both Bloomberg News and Fortune magazine reported it was around USD 1 billion (910 million euros), or about five times its projected revenue this year.
The online story, which cited unnamed people familiar with YouTube's plans, said the company plans to allow third-party verification groups to insert code on its website, which would let them collect data on the position and context of ads.