HUL to evaluate ice cream business, discussion likely among board members

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Following the announcement by Unilever Plc. on separating ice cream business globally, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is now planning to evaluate the business. HUL’s London-based  parent company Unilever revealed its plans on 19th March and said it would cut some 7,500 jobs as a part of its cost saving measures.

While HUL is yet to clarify the implications of the moves by Unilever, ice cream business is less significant for the company’s fortunes unlike its parents. While Unilever gets over 13% of its revenue from the segment, for HUL share of ice creams in its FY2023 sales stood at a meagre 3%.

The company, however, is set to evaluate the business and its future plans.

“As far as the Indian ice-cream business is concerned, we are evaluating the various options in light of this announcement. We will discuss this with the HUL Board and Unilever management in the coming months,” a HUL spokesperson said in response to queries sent by Business Today.

According to industry experts like Abneesh Roy, Executive Director at Nuvama Securities, the probability of any “big change in HUL is low”. Important to note that in tea business also, HUL chose to retain it while parent sold off other countries businesses.”, he says.

While parent Unilever is laying off a major chunk of its workforce in search of better cost optimisation, HUL remained reticent about its plans on the front. According to the company spokesperson, it already had a very robust cost savings program called Symphony, that is in place for many years now.

“Through an end-to-end focus across all lines of the P&L, we have been generating gross savings c.6% of turnover every year. This provides us crucial fuel for growth allowing us to invest competitively behind our brands and future capabilities. We will closely assess the global initiatives of Unilever under the productivity programme and assimilate best practices to take Symphony to its next phase”, the spokesperson added.

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