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Hindustan Unilever to combine food with refreshment in consumer push

Hindustan Unilever to combine food with refreshment in consumer push
Diversified consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) on Tuesday said it plans to combine the food business with the refreshment business, which includes Cornetto’s ice cream and Lipton tea.
The consolidation of the two businesses from July 1 will help HUL increase organisational agility and better serve local consumers, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
The integration also falls in line with the structure of its Anglo-Dutch parent Unilever. Unilever, one of Europe’s biggest blue-chip stocks, last year merged its food and refreshment businesses into one organisation to drive growth.
HUL's foods and refreshments segment contributed about 14% to the company's overall group profits in the year ended March 31.
"It (the foods and refreshment business) lends significant scale to Unilever in the region and will continue to be a strategic priority for the business. The company believes this integration will help drive synergies, become more agile and more consumer-centric," HUL said in a statement.
The foods and refreshment business posted a profit of Rs 996 crore over a revenue of Rs 6,379 crore in the last fiscal year.
The company has also announced some key changes in the management committee.
Sudhir Sitapati, presently executive director at refreshment divison, will be re-designated as executive director of the combined foods and refreshment business, the company said.
Meanwhile, Geetu Verma, currently the executive director of foods business in India, will move to Rotterdam as global vice president – nutrition & natural Platforms, Unilever.