Five years ago, Unilever announced it would place more emphasis on its beauty and personal care division in a planned shift away from its food business.

Dove is one of the multinational’s power brands in the mass category and the company went on a multi-billion buying spree to acquire prestige cosmetic and skincare brands, including Dermalogica, Murad, REN, Hourglass and Living Proof.

A prescient decision ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group’s large ice-cream and food arm has not fared well during the lockdowns in its major markets.

But beauty and personal care sales edged up 0.3 per cent to help deliver total sales of US$13.42 billion for Unilever’s first quarter.

The prestige beauty arm was hard hit by travel restrictions.

But beauty and personal care sales in the US and Europe rose strongly, led by increased demand for skin cleansers, deodorants and oral care.

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