Jope has spent more than 30 years at Unilever

Jope has spent more than 30 years at Unilever

Unilever's incoming CEO, Alan Jope, is to maintain two key financial targets introduced by predecessor Paul Polman.

The Magnum and Knorr maker will continue to look to grow its sales by 3-5% a year on an organic basis under the stewardship of Jope, who is due to take the reins at the FMCG giant in January.

Jope is also sticking to Unilever's target, set out in 2017, of achieving an underlying operating margin of 20% by 2020.

The Scot is a Unilever veteran who joined the company in 1985 and has heled various roles, most recently as president of Unilever's beauty and personal care division.

Jope's appointment was announced last week. He will succeed Polman, who will stand down on 31 December after a decade at the helm of the consumer-goods group.

Analysts had been mulling whether Jope would maintain the targets. The margin goal was formally stated in the spring of 2017 after Unilever rebuffed takeover interest from US food giant Kraft Heinz.

Yesterday, Unilever announced a notable acquisition in India, snapping up a clutch of consumer-nutrition assets from UK-based pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline.

just-food analysis, published November 2018: What could feature on to-do list of new Unilever CEO Alan Jope?