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02.05.2006 International

UNILEVER NV: Company Description

By Reuters

Unilever N.V., incorporated in 1894, is one of the parent companies of the Unilever Group (Unilever), which is a supplier of consumer goods across foods, home and personal product categories. Unilever PLC is the other parent company of Unilever. Unilever's operations are organized into two divisions: Foods and Home and Personal Care. Unilever serves as food company that meets everyday needs of people, through branded products. Unilever home and personal care offers brands, such as Dove, Lux, Omo and Surf.


Unilever provides savory and dressings, with brands, such as Knorr, Hellmann's, Calve, Wishbone, Amora and Bertolli. Knorr is Unilever's biggest brand and is sold in over 100 markets. Its product range includes soups, bouillons, sauces, snacks, noodles, frozen food and meal solutions. The Company's savory product range is marketed under a variety of brand names. With Bertolli, which began as an Italian olive oil brand, Unilever is building on the qualities associated with Italian food to extend the brand into spreads, dressings and pasta sauces.

The Company offers spreads and cooking products category with two brand families. Healthy heart brands Becel and Flora deliver growth, particularly with proactiv. Family brands, including Rama, Blue Band and Country Crock are building a positioning based on tasty, nutritious foods for the family.

In tea-based beverages, Unilever offers Lipton, a leaf and ready-to-drink tea. Innovations, including Lipton Ice Tea Green and Lipton Aquae, target the market for healthy and refreshing beverages. The Company's joint venture, the Pepsi Lipton International partnership, helps Unilever to extend the reach of its brands through a distribution network complementary to its own supply chain. The Company offers SlimFast, whose range includes meal replacement drinks, soups and snack bars. In developing and emerging markets, the Company provides good nutrition with Annapurna and, under AdeS, a range of nutritional, soy-based drinks.

Ice cream products under the Heart brand, including Cornetto, Magnum, Carte d'Or and Solero, are sold in the international market. Breyers, Ben & Jerry's, Klondike and Popsicle are brands offered in North America. Ben & Jerry's is also sold in Europe. In the frozen foods business in Europe, the Company is focused on the Iglo/Birds Eye/Findus brand family. Unilever Foodsolutions is a food service business providing solutions for professional chefs and caterers. It provides pre-prepared ingredients that save time and new ways of serving food on a large scale at consistent quality.

Home and Personal Care

The Company offers laundry products in developing and emerging markets, as well as in North America and most of Europe. Unilever's products have been developed to meet the diverse range of consumer needs. They include tablets for convenience, traditional powders and liquids for washing by hand or machine. Tailored products, including soap bars are available for lower income consumers. The Company's brands include Comfort, Omo, Radiant, Skip, Snuggle and Surf, which are available in over 100 countries.

Unilever's household care products are designed to meet cleaning and hygiene needs around the home. In this category, the Company offers Cif and Domestos in Europe. Unilever's fragrance business is based on the Calvin Klein range, which includes cK one, Eternity and Obsession, complemented by ranges developed with other designers.

The Company offers deodorants and skin cleansing products, as well as daily hair care and mass-market skin care products. Axe, Dove, Lux, Pond's, Rexona and Sunsilk are the core of Unilever's business in these categories. They are complemented by Suave, mainly in North America, and health brands, such as Clear, Lifebuoy and Vaseline, together with a selection of jewels in the markets in which they are offered. In oral care, Unilever provides its Signal and Close Up toothpaste brands in Europe and in developing and emerging markets.