Unilever NV (UN) manufactures, markets, and sells a broad portfolio of consumer products across the globe in developed, developing, and emerging markets. The Netherlands-based (Rotterdam) company operates in Europe, North America, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. On January 1, 2001, Unilever adopted the euro as its principal reporting currency. Management's financial ambition is to be in the top third of its peers in terms of Total Shareholder Return.
Since January 2001, Unilever has organized its businesses into two global divisions: (1) Foods and (2) Home and Personal Care (HPC). The Foods division, which accounts for 54% of revenues and 53% of operating profits (in 2006), operates through three business units: savory, dressings and spreads ice cream and beverages and culinary and frozen foods. Savory, dressings and spreads include margarine, cheese products, and cooking oils, with leading brands, such as Knorr, Hellmann's, Country Crock, Becel, and Bertolli Olive Oil. The company s premium ice cream brands are Breyers, Magnum, Ben & Jerry's, and Wall's. Unilever is also the largest seller of packet tea, with leading brands like Lipton and Brooke Bond. The company owns tea plantations in India, Kenya, and Tanzania.
The Home and Personal Care division accounts for 46% of revenues and 47% of operating profits. Personal care products in the home and personal care division include deodorants (Suave, AXE, Degree), fragrances (Calvin Klein), skin care (Dove, LEVER 2000, Lux, Lifebouy, Caress, Pond's, Qtips, Vaseline), hair care products (Suave, Thermasilk, Sunsilk), and laundry products (Surf, Wisk, Snuggle).
Unilever's reporting currency is the Euro. Income statement items are translated into USD ($US) at the average conversion rate during the period being reported. Balance sheet items are translated at period-end rates of exchange. Transactions in the past are converted at the exchange rate at the time of the event while projections are translated at current exchange rates as of the date of this report.
Unilever NV (UN) and Unilever PLC (UL) operate as the two parent companies for the Unilever Group. A series of agreements ensure that the position of shareholders in both companies is, as nearly as possible, the same as if they held shares in a single company. Unilever PLC (UL) is listed as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) on the NYSE and as shares in London. Unilever NV (UN) is a public limited company registered in The Netherlands with listings on stock exchanges in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Zurich, and New York (NYSE). Shares listed on the NYSE of Unilever NV (UN) are known as New York Shares. In May 2006, a share capital consolidation was approved and implemented. The Unilever NV shares were split in a ratio of 20 to 9 and the Unilever PLC shares were exchanged into new 31/9 pence ordinary shares. The net result is that UN and UL are almost equivalent shares in terms of both company ownership and price per share.