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12 August 2005

Turnaround needed at Unilever

The incoming Chief Executive at Unilever, Patrick Cescau, faces a major task in turning around the company’s fortunes in light of falling confidence in the company in the financial community. The recently completed Path to Growth strategy delivered on many of its objectives but Unilever failed to meet the turnover growth targets. The new “Vitality” strategy is now in place its lack of clear objectives have, so far, failed to restore confidence.

While Unilever has a generally successful business and has succeeded in switching from a strategy with a large number of local brands to the development of core global brands, there are still problem areas. The most notable of these is Slim.Fast which held great promise at the time of acquisition in 2000 but which has been adversely affected by consumers’ dietary trends. Slim.Fast, in particular, is a brand with an uncertain future.

This is one of the key conclusions of the latest Annual from Corporate Focus. The report is a detailed analysis of Unilever operation up to the end of 2004. It details the company strategy, structure and analyses the different product groups in terms of marketing, new product launches around the world.

Corporate Focus is designed for companies in the industry as well as for packaging suppliers, ingredients suppliers and communications agencies. The Annual provides a detailed snapshot of the company that is valuable as a competitive monitor but also to understand Unilever as a customer or partner.

Published in August 2005, the Unilever Annual 2004 is 179 pages with 25 tables and 9 charts. Corporate Focus is also available as a quarterly newsletter which enables subscribers to keep up-to-date with developments at Unilever on a strategic and product group level. A detailed Table of Contents can be downloaded at

Corporate Focus is a division of Through the Loop Consulting. Through the Loop Consulting is an independent research-based marketing consultancy. Through the Loop analyses key marketing and branding issues that affect companies today in a chaotic business environment.


For further information, please contact: Through the Loop Consulting Ltd. Tel: 01628 898542, fax: 01628 474836, e-mail: 

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