Unilever to spin off ice cream brands

Unilever is planning to spin off its ice cream business, which includes the Wall’s, Cornetto, Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum brands.

Around 7,500 jobs will also be cut as part of the restructuring.

The board of directors is aiming to “do fewer things better” by focusing on a portfolio of brands within four categories: Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care and Nutrition.

The Ice Cream division — which reported global sales of €7.9bn (£6.75bn) in 2023 — will operate as a standalone business, with full separation expected by the end of 2025.

Meanwhile, a three-year productivity programme will see the loss of 7,500 predominantly office-based roles across the company’s global operations in a move aimed at saving around €800m (£684m).

Unilever has a global workforce of 128,000, including 6,000 in the UK.

“The board is determined to transform Unilever into a higher-growth, higher-margin business that will deliver consistently for all stakeholders,” said Ian Meakins, chair of Unilever. “Improving our performance and sharpening our portfolio are key to delivering the improved results we believe Unilever can achieve.”

Meakins added that the separation of Ice Cream and delivery of the productivity programme will help create “a simpler, more focused and higher performing” group.

Unilever’s food and household goods brands include Comfort, Domestos, Dove, Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lux, Marmite and Vaseline.