Accounting and Interpreting Financial Statements – Unilever International PlcUnilever International Plc: Unilever Group is a merger between a British soap manufacturer Lever Brothers and another company called Uni. The result was the huge FMCG and consumer product giant named Unilever. The Unilever Group itself operates under a dual structure. Unilever NV and Unilever Plc are twin components of the Unilever Group. Both of these companies have separate legal entities and are traded separately on the stock exchange as well. The operations of the group are predominant in Europe, Asia and Africa and America with headquarters in the United Kingdom. “The group recorded revenues of E39, 672 million during the fiscal year ended December 2005, an increase of 2.9% over 2004.
The operating profit of the group was E5, 314 million during fiscal year 2005, an increase of 25.4% over 2004. The net profit was E3, 975 million in fiscal year 2005, an increase of 35.2% over 2004.” (Datamonitor, 2006)The mission of the company is to bring energy and motivation to life. The company declares its mission statement as “Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life.
We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal-care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. ” (Unilever Plc, Official Website)The Unilever Plc with its 206,000employees ranked at number 81 in 2005 and 106 in 2006 according to Fortune 500’s rankings. The source also dictated the companies revenues at $49,580 million of which profits were $4,680 Million. This has lead to stockholder’s equity of $9,960 million of the company. Amongst the food consumer products category Unilever Plc ranks second after the Nestlé Corporation (Global Fortune 500, 2006). Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats for Unilever International Plc (SWOT): Strengths: Unilever it self is a market leader with an extensive portfolio of brands existing and operating in more than 150 countries. The main operations and key brands for Unilever have been able to establish themselves with an identity of their own.
E. g. the Knorr brand which heads the soups, noodles and sauces category in the foods and consumer sector. The company has also been able to identify itself as a leading ice-cream manufacturer and provider with Magnum, Cornetto and Max form its Walls line of ice cream productsBertolli, Unilever Plc brand of olives is the market leader in Europe. The company also has a strong presence in the personal care industry wit big names like Axe, Dove, Ponds, Lux and Sunsilk under its corporate umbrella. The company itself has been able to create a position for itself by establishing its roots in the remerging economies of India, Pakistan, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Unilever has been able to perform this task by customizing its global range of products to suit the consumers in the targeted consumer marketThe company strives to be innovative in its product offering and for this conducts extensive in-depth consumer researchThe company has also changed its research and development strategy.
Unilever Plc now does not conduct a centralized research anymore. The company now invests in decentralized and customized research for its various markets “Unilever emphasizes innovation not only in its products, but also in its processes. For example, in 2004, a Unilever distribution centre in Coventry, UK, drove refrigeration cost savings of about 40% through the installation of technologically advanced insulation and energy re-use facilities. ” (Datamonitor, 2006)