Unilever starts review of beauty brands, could take a year

Consumer products giant Unilever has begun a strategic review of its beauty brands, according to a report. The company will continue to operate in the beauty area, with personal care being its single biggest operating division, but it’s likely that some underperforming brands, or those that have limited future potential, will be sold off.

According to a report in The Times at the weekend the company, which owns the giant Dove brand, is expected to take up to a year to complete its review.

That review comes as the business faces slower growth than it would like, although it remains a strong performer globally.

The company has been buying beauty brands in recent years and now has a portfolio that includes more upmarket labels such as Hourglass and Tatcha, as well as its mass-market brands.

As mentioned, there’s no suggestion that it wants to downsize its overall presence in beauty with the new review being part of a general process by which it’s looking at slower-growing brands across its entire portfolio. It has already sold some food brands and its tea business is believed to be up for review as well.

Its beauty and personal care brands include Alberto Balsam, Vaseline and Simple and last year accounted for 42% of the group’s total turnover of more than £18 billion. Simple is reportedly one of the brands that could be up for sale following the review.