UL - Unilever PLC

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
59.17
-0.06 (-0.10%)
At close: 4:02PM EDT

59.17 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 4:17PM EDT

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close59.23
Open59.44
Bid59.13 x 900
Ask59.14 x 900
Day's range58.96 - 59.69
52-week range50.80 - 64.84
Volume1,540,272
Avg. volume749,375
Market cap154.367B
Beta (3Y monthly)0.43
PE ratio (TTM)23.42
EPS (TTM)2.53
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yield1.83 (3.10%)
Ex-dividend date2019-08-08
1y target est70.00
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Reddit co-founder heads to DC to push for federally-mandated paid family leave
    Yahoo Finance

    Reddit co-founder heads to DC to push for federally-mandated paid family leave

    Reddit and Initialized Capital co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who is married to Serena Williams, will lead a delegation of dads to meet with senators in Washington, D.C.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-Reckitt hires Ahold's Carr to take over as CFO in 2020

    Reckitt Benckiser named Ahold Delhaize finance chief Jeff Carr as successor to Adrian Hennah, who is retiring as CFO of the British consumer goods company next year. The maker of Durex condoms and Lysol disinfectant said on Monday that Carr, who has been finance chief at Dutch-American supermarket operator Ahold since 2011, would bring "extensive experience across consumer and retail companies". The appointment of Carr, who worked for Reckitt between 1994 and 2004, is its second big management change this year after replacing long-time chief executive Rakesh Kapoor with PepsiCo executive Laxman Narasimhan as CEO.

  • How secure is the Unilever (LON:ULVR) dividend payment?
    Stockopedia

    How secure is the Unilever (LON:ULVR) dividend payment?

    There is some evidence that buying progressive dividend payers with solid balance sheets is a strategy well-rewarded by the market. After all, who doesn’t like8230;

  • Two ‘sleep-well-at-night’ FTSE 100 stocks I’d buy as we approach 2020
    Fool.co.uk

    Two ‘sleep-well-at-night’ FTSE 100 stocks I’d buy as we approach 2020

    As we get closer to 2020, there are dark clouds on the horizon. These FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) stocks could provide portfolio protection, says Edward Sheldon.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-FTSE feels IHG's pain amid caution ahead of Brexit vote

    London-listed stocks ended a mixed week on a cautious note ahead of a make-or-break parliamentary vote on Brexit, while InterContinental Hotels and oil stocks weighed on the FTSE 100, which closed 0.4% lower. The FTSE 250's constituents earn most of their revenue in Britain and the index has risen more than 4% since last week as the prospects of a damaging "no-deal" Brexit have diminished.

  • China’s Economy Slows on Weak Investment, Testing Global Growth
    Bloomberg

    China’s Economy Slows on Weak Investment, Testing Global Growth

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. China continued its grind to more moderate growth in the third quarter as investment slowed, providing little upside for a global economy flirting with its first recession since 2009.Gross domestic product rose 6% in the July-September period from a year ago, the slowest pace since the early 1990s and weaker than the consensus forecast of 6.1%. On the upside, factory output improved and retail sales held up, but slowing investment growth remained a concern.Policy makers appear to be allowing the world’s second-largest economy to drift lower as they seek to clean up the financial system and curb excessive credit growth while they fight a confidence-sapping trade war with U.S. President Donald Trump. With a drop off in exports to the U.S. expected to continue as long as tariffs remain, the economy is likely to keep struggling as falling factory prices hit company profits and rising consumer inflation hits spending power.Even with the slowdown, year-to-date growth of 6.2% suggests the government can hit its target of an expansion of 6% to 6.5% for 2019. Until now, officials have focused on limited, targeted measures such as reserve-ratio cuts and credit support, wary of expanding the nation’s already heavy debt load. A meeting of the Communist Party’s top leadership due in the coming days may present an opportunity to review stimulus settings.“China’s economy is grappling with both external and internal headwinds,” said Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economics research at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong. “Exports started to contract of late amid wobbly global demand and rising tariffs in the U.S. Despite some stabilization in retail sales and industrial production in September, overall demand continues to soften, reflecting still relatively tight credit conditions.”Stocks pared earlier gains after the data, with the Hang Seng slipping 0.5% and the Shanghai Composite falling 1.3%. The offshore yuan was weaker at 7.0850 per dollar at 2:43 p.m. in Hong Kong.Further Details from the Report:Factory output rose 5.8% in September, retail sales expanded 7.8%, while investment gained 5.4% in the first nine monthsInfrastructure investment growth picked up to 4.5% in the nine months to SeptemberThe contribution of net exports to GDP growth picked up to 19.6% in the 9 months through September. That’s not necessarily an indication of economic strength though, as it was likely led by a pullback in importsConsumption’s contribution increased to 60.5% from 55.3%; Investment’s contribution slowed to 19.8% from 25.9%The surveyed jobless rate remained at 5.2%Nominal growth, which is un-adjusted for inflation, slowed to 7.6% from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations. That’s the slowest since the third quarter of 2016.The nominal growth rate “tends to capture the cycles in the economy better,” according to a research note from Trivium China. It also gives a better idea of whether growth is fast enough to repay the nation’s growing debt, as lending is denominated in nominal values and isn’t adjusted for inflation.The slowing nominal rate indicates that the deflator, a reading of inflation across the economy, dipped to 1.6%.As China slows, it is buying less from the rest of the world, pushing its trade surplus higher and dragging on global economic growth. That’s having a knock-on effect on trade partners, from developed economies like Germany to commodity suppliers.Global policy makers including People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang are meeting in Washington this week for the International Monetary Fund’s annual meetings. The IMF set the tone for the gathering, making its fifth-straight cut to its forecast for 2019 global growth, which is on pace for the slowest expansion in a decade.The long-term slowdown underlines the challenge for companies doing business in China now, where high sales growth had once been a given.French distiller Pernod Ricard SA said growth in China slowed to 6% in the latest three months, less than one-quarter of the year-earlier rate. Nestle SA said sales in the country were flat for the first nine months, while Unilever said business there “slowed a little” in the latest period.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say..“China’s 3Q GDP growth, while avoiding falling below 6% for now, was in line with our view that the consensus forecast appeared optimistic. September industrial production growth was unexpectedly strong, but a further deceleration in investment growth underscores the challenges of using infrastructure spending to support growth.”Chang Shu and David Qu, Bloomberg EconomicsFor the full note click hereInvestors are looking for further confirmation of a detente between the U.S. and China on trade, as signs emerge that an agreement struck between negotiators in Washington this month and due to be signed by President Xi Jinping and Trump in November isn’t water-tight.China’s Ministry of Commerce Thursday signaled that Beijing is still pushing for the removal of all tariffs imposed by the U.S. since the trade war began -- a concession that’s not currently on the table.“The economy would almost surely slow further with the current policy stance,” said Larry Hu, head of China economics at Macquarie Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. “Due to the lack of demand now, the government has to create more demand by itself through infrastructure spending. Even a trade deal is not an substitute for an escalation of stimulus.”\--With assistance from Kevin Hamlin, Rachel Chang and Carolynn Look.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: James Mayger in Beijing at jmayger@bloomberg.net;Tomoko Sato in Tokyo at tsato3@bloomberg.net;Miao Han in Beijing at mhan22@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at jblack25@bloomberg.net, James MaygerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Emerging markets come off the boil for Nestle and Unilever
    Reuters

    Emerging markets come off the boil for Nestle and Unilever

    ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) - Global consumer goods companies have been banking on emerging markets to drive their growth, so signs on Thursday that sales have come off the boil in the once-booming economies of China and India could set alarm bells ringing. Unilever, Nestle and drinks group Pernod Ricard all pointed to slower progress in key Asian markets as a factor for muted sales growth over the last three months but for the time being are keeping targets intact. Packaged goods companies like these have been relying more on emerging markets to offset changing habits in developed economies, where growing numbers of consumers are turning to fresher foods, niche brands or cutting back on spending.

  • Looking to protect your wealth? Unilever isn’t the only stock I think should appeal
    Fool.co.uk

    Looking to protect your wealth? Unilever isn’t the only stock I think should appeal

    Growth may have slowed, but Paul Summers believes Unilever plc (LON:ULVR) remains a strong hold for defensively-minded investors.

  • Fake Meat, Coffee or Sparkling Water? Nestle’s Next Moves Matter
    Bloomberg

    Fake Meat, Coffee or Sparkling Water? Nestle’s Next Moves Matter

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Nestle SA Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider is in a good spot. He’s on the verge of capping what he set out to do when he became the Swiss food behemoth’s first outside leader for almost 100 years.Nestle is on track to meet its target for operating margin a year early. Its organic sales growth goal for next year looks attainable. And on Thursday the company unveiled plans to return another $20 billion to shareholders by 2022. That is unless it can find better ways to spend some of the money on acquisitions.The latest buyback comes just as the last $20 billion capital return — announced in June 2017 — is being completed.The German-American CEO took over in January 2017 with the aim of making changes. He received a blessing in disguise that June, when activist investor Dan Loeb’s Third Point bought a stake and started agitating for change, giving Schneider the license to move quickly.Under pressure from Loeb, he has changed up of 9% of Nestle’s the portfolio so far, in line with his plan to trade 10% of it by the end of 2020. He has sold off the U.S. confectionery business, the Gerber life assurance unit and most recently the dermatology arm, all for better-than-expected prices.And he has made canny acquisitions, including spending $7 billion for the rights to market Starbucks Corp. products outside of its cafes, which is helping drive growth in Nestle’s coffee unit. Adding Sweet Earth, which makes meat substitutes, also looks smart given the boom in plant-based protein products.Combined, the moves mean Nestle is on track to meet the low end of the target for full-year underlying operating margin of between 17.5% and 18.5% in 2020, a year early. Organic growth in the mid-single digits by 2020 looks possible, too. Nestle forecasts about 3.5% expansion in 2019.But from here, life gets tougher. Obvious disposals have been made, although Schneider could go further in pruning parts of the U.S. frozen food business, which includes Hot Pockets and DiGiorno pizzas, and its joint ventures in chilled dairy, cereals and ice cream.The decision to no longer run the challenged waters arm as a separate business and instead integrate it into Nestle’s three main geographic regions indicates that that business won’t come up for sale in its entirety.Nestle believes its range of waters, which include the Perrier and S.Pellegrino brands, are capable of delivering strong growth, thanks to demand in emerging markets and the trend for health and wellness in developed regions. But staying so committed to the business looks like a rare strategic misstep, given the pressures on the lower end of the market and growing environmental awareness.As for further acquisitions, more bolt-ons that take Nestle into nascent but potentially fast-growing consumer categories along the lines of fake meat, look likely given the creation of a unit to bolster expansion both within the group and outside of it.There is one portfolio change that seems to remain stubbornly out of Schneider’s plans: selling Nestle’s 32 billion–euro ($35.6 billion) stake in L’Oreal SA, the world’s biggest maker of beauty products.Loeb has been pressing to offload it. Nestle doesn’t need the money, and would prefer to link any change to a big strategic move. But there is merit in considering the disposal. Concern is rising about a slow-down in luxury demand in China, something that has been buoying L’Oreal’s premium cosmetics brands. Meanwhile, the U.S. make-up market looks more challenging after a boom. If conditions deteriorate, Nestle may have missed the best chance to extract maximum value.And it can’t afford any slip ups. The shares have risen 44% since Schneider arrived in January 2017, and trade at a forward price earnings ratio of 22 times. While the premium to Unilever NV is deserved, at this elevated valuation, there is less room for error than when Schneider walked in to shake up what was then a lumbering food giant. To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    MORNING BID-Hanging on a summit

    World markets have run into sand on Thursday, with sterling dropping about a half a cent after Northern Ireland’s DUP said it couldn’t yet support a Brexit deal that’s been thrashed out by UK and European Union negotiators before today’s EU summit. The text of the Brexit deal appeared to be ready to present to the summit before the DUP statement. Without DUP backing, UK PM Boris Johnson will struggle to get any agreement through parliament, which is due to sit on Saturday after the two-day summit.

  • Unilever’s Growth Held Back by Weakness in Ice Cream and Tea
    Bloomberg

    Unilever’s Growth Held Back by Weakness in Ice Cream and Tea

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Unilever’s growth fell just short of estimates last quarter on disappointing sales of ice cream in Europe and black tea across the developed world.The 2.9% third-quarter gain in underlying sales growth at the owner of Lipton tea and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream compared with a 3% consensus analyst forecast.Key InsightsEurope was the only region where underlying sales growth stalled. The continent struggled against tough comparisons after hot weather in 2018 boosted ice cream sales.In the third quarter, Unilever’s sales fell by 0.1% in developed markets, highlighting the challenge the world’s biggest brands face as shoppers increasingly favor locally made labels with more artisanal cachet.Unilever’s growth over nine months lagged slightly behind the performance of rival Nestle SA, which also reported results on Thursday.Market ReactionThe shares gained 1.3% early Thursday in Amsterdam. They’re up about 15% so far this year.Get MoreFor more on Unilever’s numbers, click here.Click here to see the statement.(Updates with shares)To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Buckley in London at tbuckley25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at epfanner1@bloomberg.net, John LauermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Brexit and results on our radar at breakfast

    * Earnings in focus: Ericsson, Nestle, Pernod Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni. European shares are set to fall slightly as hopes of a Brexit deal at the two-day summit starting today in Brussels are more than offset by concerns that any accord won't have enough support in the UK Parliament.

  • Unilever suffers dip in emerging markets sales growth
    Reuters

    Unilever suffers dip in emerging markets sales growth

    A slowdown in India and China put a brake on Unilever's quarterly sales growth, highlighting the challenges facing Chief Executive Alan Jope as he tries to boost the consumer goods giant's business in emerging markets. "There have definitely been signs of slowing markets in India and China ... In India, we are going from very high rates of market growth to growth rates in the mid-single digits of growth," Unilever finance chief Graeme Pitkethly told Reuters.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-Unilever suffers dip in emerging markets sales growth

    A slowdown in India and China put a brake on Unilever's quarterly sales growth, highlighting the challenges facing Chief Executive Alan Jope as he tries to boost the consumer goods giant's business in emerging markets. "There have definitely been signs of slowing markets in India and China ... In India, we are going from very high rates of market growth to growth rates in the mid-single digits of growth," Unilever finance chief Graeme Pitkethly told Reuters.

  • Investing.com

    Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Thursday

    Investing.com -- There's a Brexit deal in the offing, although it still needs to be approved by a recalcitrant British parliament. The pound and other U.K. and European assets are responding with enthusiasm. Elsewhere, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is set for a pop after stronger-than-expected earnings in the third quarter, even though subscriber growth again fell short of expectations. There are also regular updates on U.S. industrial production and the housing market, while oil is struggling after a big build in U.S. crude stocks last week. Here's what you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, 17th October.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    WRAPUP 2-Emerging markets come off the boil for Nestle and Unilever

    ZURICH/LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Global consumer goods companies have been banking on emerging markets to drive their growth, so signs on Thursday that sales have come off the boil in the once-booming economies of China and India could set alarm bells ringing. Unilever, Nestle and drinks group Pernod Ricard all pointed to slower progress in key Asian markets as a factor for muted sales growth over the last three months but for the time being are keeping targets intact.

  • Investing.com

    NewsBreak: Unilever Upholds 2020 Targets After In-Line 3Q Revenue

    Investing.com -- Consumer goods giant Unilever (LON:ULVR) upheld its guidance through next year Thursday after revenue grew at an annual rate of 5.8% in the third quarter to 13.25 billion euros ($14.6 billion), while underlying sales grew 2.9%.

  • Watch Out, Billionaire Del Vecchio Is Meddling
    Bloomberg

    Watch Out, Billionaire Del Vecchio Is Meddling

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Italy’s second-richest tycoon made his fortune in spectacles, and now he has ideas about how to run a bank. There is no doubting Leonardo Del Vecchio’s entrepreneurial flair. But his decision to take a 7% stake in Mediobanca SpA and opine publicly about its strategy merits caution. He is but one shareholder, and he should not dictate the lender’s strategy.Del Vecchio is not a naturally passive shareholder or owner. Chief executive officers at his glasses maker Luxottica Group SpA would rotate at an alarming pace. The merger of Luxottica with French lenses group Essilor diluted his dominant holding into a non-controlling stake and created a balanced board with representation from both sides. The arrangement soon fell into acrimony. That is an inauspicious backdrop for a large and potentially growing investment in Mediobanca.His motivations are unclear. The benign explanation is that this is portfolio diversification: Most of Del Vecchio’s wealth is tied up in the eyewear industry. He has some financial exposure to Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali SpA and lender UniCredit SpA, but this is relatively small. The more worrying possibility is that it really is about meddling with another Generali shareholder — Mediobanca owns 13% of the insurer — or that it relates to some other personal agenda.Del Vecchio has reportedly said Mediobanca needs to be more ambitious in mergers and acquisitions, expand in investment banking, and rely less on the income it receives from Generali. It is not obvious all of these ideas would benefit other shareholders. Wealth management is where acquisitions might make sense for Mediobanca, but deals are risky given that the main assets — the people — can walk out of the door. Mediobanca CEO Alberto Nagel has been rightly cautious.Lifting exposure to investment banking activities, reviving a former strategy, would re-introduce more volatile revenue streams and risk lowering the multiple of earnings on which the shares trade.The function of the Generali stake is a trickier question. Corporate finance theory would dictate that Mediobanca should sell it and return cash to shareholders. If the bank needed cash in the future, it would then ask shareholders to stump up when it could show what the funds would be used for.That works for big, diversified corporations like Unilever NV. But a smaller, less well-capitalized, Italy-focused bank would probably find the capital markets unwilling to provide funds just when it needed them most — for example, in hard times when bid targets were most affordable. So long as there is a possibility that Mediobanca might want to do M&A, the stake is best seen as a financial resource to be retained.It’s possible that Del Vecchio’s vision and Nagel’s could align if Mediobanca finds a decent takeover target, which the Generali stake could pay for. But while Mediobanca’s existing strategy looks sound, and the group is well run, Nagel cannot be complacent. The Generali stake makes a big contribution to net income but doesn’t require any management effort. And Mediobanca’s central and treasury functions make an uncomfortably high dent in the profits that the other businesses bring in. An upcoming strategy refresh offers the chance for Nagel to set some hard targets for revenue growth and further cost efficiency that would dispel any suggestion of low ambition.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    REFILE-Palm oil body to wield stick to get consumer goods giants to go green

    A palm oil industry watchdog will adopt rules next month that will impose fines on consumer goods companies like Unilever and Nestle if they don't start buying more green palm oil to help curb deforestation in Southeast Asia, the regulating body said. Producers of palm oil, a commodity used in everything from ice cream to lipstick, are blamed for destroying millions of hectares of forest in Southeast Asia, in part by using slash-and-burn techniques that blanketed Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia in smog in September.

  • 3 FTSE 100 stocks I’d buy with £10k in a Stocks and Shares ISA right now
    Fool.co.uk

    3 FTSE 100 stocks I’d buy with £10k in a Stocks and Shares ISA right now

    These FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) stocks could pay you for life, writes Rupert Hargreaves.

  • How a Battery Can Lead a Quiet Revolution
    Bloomberg

    How a Battery Can Lead a Quiet Revolution

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- This week, the Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for their work developing the lithium-ion battery. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in announcing the award, said the three men “created a rechargeable world.” The ubiquitous battery is now found in items as varied as hearing aids and power grids. It is a testament not just to technological revolutions, but also to the power of advancements in performance and decreases in cost. Whittingham began working on the lithium-ion battery in an Exxon Mobil Corp. laboratory in the 1970s, when it was being considered for automotive applications. The lithium-ion battery wasn’t a fit for cars then, but research and development continued and the technology improved, to the point that it became a viable power source in search of an application. But it was Sony Corp., not Exxon Mobil, that would introduce the first lithium-ion battery for consumers. That new device in need of a suitable power source? The handheld 8 mm camcorder. In 1995, camcorders created the biggest source of demand for lithium-ion batteries. By 2000, laptops had become the biggest driver of demand; by 2005, it was feature phones. By 2010, the smartphone was the biggest source of demand for lithium-ion batteries. As this rather dramatic chart shows, passenger electric vehicles have vaulted past consumer electronics to become the single biggest source of demand for lithium-ion batteries, less than 15 years after Martin Eberhard built the first Tesla Roadster battery pack from 6,831 of the lithium-ion cells used in laptop computers.The lithium-ion battery has come a very long way in other ways, too. Battery costs have come down by more than 80% in nine years.And battery manufacturing capacity has increased more than 200-fold in 15 years. There is far more expansion planned. Next year will see more new capacity added than the global manufacturing capacity’s total in 2016. By 2023, total capacity will have more than doubled.The combination of cost, capacity and capability has in itself created a new market for the lithium-ion battery: energy storage within power grids. We need look no further than northern Indiana, where power utility Nipsco plans to replace coal-fired power with wind, solar and solar-plus-storage projects. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences concluded its announcement of this year’s chemistry prize rather poetically: “Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized our lives since they first entered the market in 1991,” the academy said. “They have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind.” Sometimes being good enough is revolutionary, too.Weekend readingSome of 2019’s wackiest investment predictions are coming true. “Firms that align their business models to a net zero world will be rewarded handsomely,” Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said in a speech in Tokyo this week. “Those that fail to adapt will cease to exist.” Carbon Tracker estimates that Japan’s coal-fired power generation fleet could end up as $71 billion of stranded assets. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte has decided against investing in Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering, in part over environmental concerns. Unilever says that it will reduce its use of virgin plastic by 50% by 2025, and reduce its absolute use of plastic packaging by 100,000 metric tons. A new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study finds that obesity-related diseases will claim more than 90 million lives in the next 30 years, lower life expectancy by three years, and reduce gross domestic product by 3.3% in OECD countries. Three out of 10 low-income Americans do not have access to broadband of any kind. In the latest “Stephanomics” podcast, Bloomberg Economics’ Stephanie Flanders explores why birthrates are so low, and what those low birthrates mean for the global economy. Arkansas’s Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corp. is seeking a 4.5% decrease in its electricity rates, thanks to its solar power assets. Northrop Grumman Corp. has launched the Mission Extension Vehicle-1, the first satellite designed to service and extend the life of other satellites. Dyson Group Plc has pulled the plug on its electric vehicle plans, saying “we simply cannot make it commercially viable.” The most detailed map of U.S. automobile emissions. Get Sparklines delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. And subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Nathaniel Bullard at nbullard@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nathaniel Bullard is a BloombergNEF energy analyst, covering technology and business model innovation and system-wide resource transitions.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Doritos, Snickers and Pizza Are Under Attack
    Bloomberg

    Doritos, Snickers and Pizza Are Under Attack

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Why should society permit the existence of food companies that contribute to poor health? The standard answer is that people should be allowed to make bad choices about what they eat and drink. But that’s a slippery defense when the consumers are children and the choices they face are loaded against their wellbeing, as Thursday’s British government report on childhood obesity makes clear.The snacks industry — from Mondelez International Inc. to Coca-Cola Co. and from Nestle SA to the Kraft Heinz Company — needs to rethink its purpose, and strategy, if its license to operate is to endure.Former U.K. chief medical officer Professor Sally Davies, the report’s author, cites multiple causes for a saddening rise in obesity among England’s 10-11-year-olds since 1990. The giant food brands are only part of the problem but that hardly absolves them from leading the solution. As Davies says, cheap unhealthy food tends to be the most readily available. Portion inflation is rampant. Advertising or sponsorship is pervasive. Healthy options are often unaffordable for those on low incomes, while the unhealthy options are cheap.Davies’s recommendations include some radical ideas. The U.K. public may be banned from eating and drinking on public transport. Industry faces calorie caps on food portions consumed “out-of-home,” tiered VAT on unhealthy food, plain packaging and the end of tax deductibility of marketing costs for unhealthy products. These may just be proposals. But the direction of travel is clear.This is what happens when an industry fails to self-regulate to mitigate its worst effects. Governments wake up. The food and drink industry is a big employer and a big taxpayer. Even so, the economics favor intervention. The medical costs of obesity, coupled with lost productivity, are 3% of global GDP, according to McKinsey research from 2014. Today’s unhealthy children are tomorrow’s sick workforce.The U.K. Food and Drink Federation, the lobby group, says “punitive action” might hinder continuing the progress the manufacturers have already made in cutting salt, sugar and calories from their products over the last four years. It says the industry must “take the consumer with us.” The question is whether it is taking itself and its customers to an early grave. The industry needs to see this problem as an opportunity not a threat. First, it should be clear about its role in society. Making treats that people want to eat can be a good reason for a corporation to exist, but not when it adds to a public health crisis. This doesn’t mean PepsiCo Inc. ending production of Doritos. But it does mean defining responsibly what the target market — and age group — is for such products. And it requires combining marketing with education.At the same time, food manufacturers should redouble their efforts to innovate healthier, cost-effective alternatives to sugar and salt. This is a chance for the food giants to think about the huge market for healthy snacks. Food technology has a vital role here and it’s best mediated by the private sector. R&D has already helped, as with the development of Nestle’s so-called hollow sugar.This week the OECD proposed reforms to corporate taxation, which would allow governments to tax digital companies that generate revenues in countries where they have no physical presence. The food industry faces a similar revenue challenge. Its products will be subject to extra taxes in certain markets until they start to use their well-funded research labs to help meet national health objectives.It’s not clear that the sector sees obesity as a strategic issue yet. Unilever NV is recycling plastic packaging but still aiming to sell lots more Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The debate among investors about what stocks to divest centers on fossil fuels right now. If food companies don’t act, they’ll join tobacco and oil in the sin bin.\--With assistance from Lara Williams.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

By using Yahoo, you agree that we and our partners can use cookies for purposes such as customising content and advertising. See our Privacy Policy to learn more