When Can Unilever’s Total Revenue Cross $60 Billion Again?

by Trefis Team
Unilever Group
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Unilever’s (NYSE: UL) total revenue has dropped from $60.32 billion in 2017 to $58.22 billion in 2019, on the back of a sharp drop in Foods & Refreshments revenue and currency headwinds.
However, Foods & Refreshments is expected to bounce back, and with steady growth in Personal Care revenue to continue, this could drive total revenue to $61.39 billion by 2021.
Home care revenue, too, is expected to continue seeing slow but steady growth, going from $12.12 billion in 2019 to $12.49 billion in 2021.


  • Unilever’s Personal Care division, is expected to contribute $25.23 billion to total revenue in 2020, making up around 42% of Unilever’s $59.78 billion revenue estimate.
  • The Foods and Refreshments division comes close behind and is expected to bring in $22.25 billion in 2020, to make up 37% of the total revenue estimate.
  • The Personal Care business will provide $2.74 billion, around 257% of the expected $1.07 billion growth in Unilever’s revenue between 2017 and 2021.
  • This strong revenue growth, combined with an expected rise in net margins, has helped drive Unilever’s share price by almost 50% since January 2017.
  • In our interactive dashboard Unilever Revenue: How Does Unilever Make Money?, we discuss Unilever’s business model, followed by sections that review past performance and 2021 expectations for Unilever’s revenue.

A look at Unilever’s segments and their contribution to total revenue

(A) Personal Care Revenue to grow by almost $1.5 billion over the next 2 years, to make up 42% of the total revenue estimate in 2021

  • Unilever’s personal care division is the company’s largest, and has grown from $23.24 billion in 2017 to $24.49 billion in 2019.
  • This division comprises of household brands such as Axe, Dove, Lux, Sunsilk, Lifebuoy, and Vaseline.
  • Unilever has increased focus on its personal care division over the last 4 years, and this has helped drive a $1.25 billion growth in this segment over the past 2 years.
  • We expect this growth to continue, taking revenue from this segment to almost $26 billion by 2021.

(B) Foods & Refreshments revenue to grow $1.32 billion over the next 2 years, to make up 38% of total revenue in 2021

  • The foods & refreshments segment includes the foods, ice cream, and beverages categories, and comprises household names such as Knorr, Magnum, Lipton, Brooke Bond, and Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Unilever sold off its spreads business to KKR for about $8 billion in 2018, and Unilever has since reduced focus on this segment.
  • We expect revenue from this segment to rise gradually to around $22.92 billion by 2021, but still remain below 2018 levels.

(C) Home Care revenue to add around $370 million over the next 2 years, to make up the remaining 20% of 2021’s revenue estimate

  • The home care segment comprises of leading brands such as Surf, Comfort, Domestos, Pureit, and Blueair.
  • Revenue from this segment has grown from $11.88 billion in 2017 to $12.12 billion in 2019.
  • We expect this metric to further grow to $12.49 billion by 2021.

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