As well as driving growth over the year through core brands such as Dove and Axe, Personal Care expanded its new Prestige business through acquisitions such as Dermalogica, Murad, Kate Somerville and REN.
In Foods, we had strong performances in savoury and dressings and in our Food Solutions business which services professional hotel, restaurant and catering customers. Home Care improved profitability and scaled up its household cleaning business. In our Refreshment business, ice cream delivered strong growth and we strengthened our retail operations across both ice cream and tea by the formation of an organisation to improve our 1,100 stores from T2 to Ben & Jerry’s Scoop shops.
“In 2015 we were pleased to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to equitable growth.”Paul Polman, CEO
Dry spray deodorants across Dove, Rexona and Axe delivered on a true consumer need in North America – deodorant that goes on cleaner and drier. Knorr’s 100% natural Mealmakers responded to a growing demand for more authentic, fresh, natural and sustainably sourced foods. The consumer reception of Comfort Intense – a super-concentrated fabric conditioner – exceeded expectations. Innovations in ice cream included Magnum Pink & Black and the Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Core range, and in tea we launched capsules in Europe and our bespoke in-home tea machine T.O by Lipton in France.
We took some key steps towards our Sustainable Living Plan targets during 2015. For example, we reached the landmark of having all tea in our Lipton teabags sourced from Rainforest Alliance certified estates after an eight-year investment program. In March, we announced that all palm oil bought for our European and Australian food businesses is traceable to certified plantations. And we became the first company to produce a detailed, stand-alone human rights report.
Opportunity lies in the pace of change
In the Report’s CEO Review, when asked what he saw as the biggest opportunity ahead, Paul Polman says it lies in the pace of change: “To show that we can continue to develop a portfolio of brands with the right blend of global and local presence, supported by an organisational structure that is resilient enough to withstand shocks and agile enough to respond to rapidly emerging trends.”