Unilever Project

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Section 1 Introduction3
1.1 Introduction to the topic3
1.2 Introduction to UNILEVER4
1.3 Project objectives5
1.4 Research Questions5
1.5 Research approach6
Section 2 Information Gathering7
2.1 Sources used and reasons7
2.2 Description of method used to collect information8
2.3 Limitation of gathering information9
2.4 Ethical Issues9
2.5 Ratio Analysis10
2.5(a) Limitation of ratio analysis11
2.6 SWOT analysis13
2.6(a) Limitations of SWOT analysis13
2.7 PEST analysis13
2.7(a) Limitations of PEST analysis13
Section 3 Business Performance Analysis15
Soda Ash16
3.1 Major Developments19
3.2 Competitive Position of UNILEVER.20
3.3 Future Outlook20
Section 4 Financial Performance Analysis22
4.1 Sale Revenue Growth22
4.2 Comparison of Sale to Cost of Sale23
4.3 Profitability Ratios23
4.3(a) Gross Profit Margin:24
4.3(b) Net Profit margin24
4.3(c) Operating Profit Margin:24
4.3(d) Return on Capital Employed & Return on Equity25
4.4 Efficiency Ratios:26
4.4(a) Account Payables Days:26
4.4(b) Account Receivable Days:26
4.5 Liquidity Ratios28
4.5(a) Current Ratio:28
4.5(b) Quick Ratio:29
4.6 Gearing Ratios:30
4.6(a) Capital Gearing Ratio:30
4.6(b) Dividend per share vs. Earning per share31
4.6(c) Dividend Cover Ratio :( In Times)32
4.7 SWOT Analysis33
4.8 PEST Analysis35
Political and legal analysis35
Economic analysis35
Societal Analysis36
Technological Analysis36
Section 5 - Conclusion and Recommendations37
5.1 Recommended Strategies37
Backward Integration37
5.1(a) Implementation Plan38
Section 6 - Appendices39
Appendix 6.1 - Ratios Findings39

Section 1- Introduction Phase
1.1 Introduction to my research topic
After being eligible for BSC honours programme, my first step towards the research and analysis work was to decide upon which topic to choose. After intense analysis of various topics in the guide line, I decided to select my favourite topic 8 which is “The business and financial performance of an organization over the three years period”.

Why I chose this topic?
Business and financial performance analysis has always been my favourite area. Evaluation of business and financial performance requires an accounting background and skills to interpret the financial statements of an organisation. Having completed the fundamental level of ACCA makes me believe that I have acquired the necessary basic skills to cope with the task. To me it is a great opportunity to apply my knowledge to a greater level of intellectuality which, I feel, is quite different to an ACCA examination. In my point of view this topic is more relevant to my accounting and auditing profession. I discussed the various topics with my mentor and finally we decided to go with the “Business and financial performance of Unilever over a period of three years”. I selected this topic because of the following reasons;

* This topic is very challenging for me as it will not only demand for a wider research and analysis but also gives me an opportunity to apply the knowledge I gained during my studies towards ACCA to a larger organisation like Unilever which already exists has strong presence. This would enhance my understanding of business and financial analysis thus improving my analytical skills and capabilities. * This project would provide me an opportunity to enhance my IT skills like Microsoft Office applications and use of diagrams, tables, calculations of key ratios, trend analysis, and graphs.

* Ease in the availability of financial and non financial information of the Unilever in corporate website and also from other sources such as internet, newspapers and magazines.

1.2 Introduction to Unilever

Unilever is a multinational group and it has its presence in various...
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