Unilever Reviews Frozen Foods

20 September 2005

Anglo-Dutch food giant Unilever is mulling the future of its European frozen foods operation.

The review by the consumer goods giant could lead to a sale of the division, which markets frozen food in 11 countries across Western Europe, including the Birds Eye brand in the UK and Findus in Italy.

The unit produced revenues of €2 billion ($2.44bn; £1.35bn) last year and could be expected to fetch a price of between €2bn and €2.5bn, say analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Unilever faces stiff competition in Europe from stores' 'own label' brands, which are sold cheaper because they do not need to advertise.

A spokesman for the company says it is looking at all options for the business, ranging from a sale to additional investments.

  • Meanwhile, Unilever has slashed 20% of its global television advertising budget over the last three years.

    Vp Alan Rutherford told a TV convention in the UK that the company now spends $4bn a year on TV advertising around the world.

    He adds: "Television is rather ill, it is not dead. But it is going through an evolutionary change. Advertisers are rethinking how they use television as part of their mix."

    Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff