A worker checks a mobile device at a warehouse in Bengaluru, India. (Photographer: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg)

HUL To Combine Foods And Refreshment Businesses

Hindustan Unilever Ltd. today said it would combine its food and refreshments businesses in South Asia from July 1 to bring it line with its global structure.

“The food and refreshments business has delivered consistent growth in India. It lends significant scale to Unilever in the region and will continue to be a strategic priority for the business,” HUL said in an exchange filing. “The integration will help it to drive synergies, become more agile and customer-centric.”

HUL in 2016 had split its food and refreshments business into two separate units to increase focus on the high-growing segments. However, Unilever combined the two businesses globally, barring South Asia, in June 2017. They together contributed nearly 18 percent to HUL’s overall segment revenue in the previous financial year.

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Top-Level Changes

Sudhir Sitapati, who is executive director, refreshment, will be re-designated as executive director, foods & refreshment. He will continue to be part of the management committee of HUL.

Geetu Verma, existing executive director, foods, India, will move to Rotterdam as global vice president, nutrition & natural platforms, Unilever. This is a new role designed to grow Unilever’s presence in the health and wellbeing sector, the statement said.

Shares of HUL swung between gains and losses and traded at Rs 1,555.95 apiece as of 11:30 a.m.