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FTSE 100 movers: Unilever rallies; housebuilders in the red

15:54, 19th March 2024

London's FTSE 100 was up 0.2% at 7,735.84 in afternoon trade on Tuesday.
Unilever rallied as it announced plans to spin off its ice cream division by the end of 2025, and cut 7,500 jobs across its global operations. The consumer goods giant also said its productivity programme was expected to deliver total cost savings of around €800m over the next three years.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "When the market was speculating about steps Unilever might take to revive its fortunes, a spin-off of its ice cream division had not been that widely discussed - even if political pronouncements from Ben & Jerry's had provoked a meltdown among some investors.

"A side benefit of the brand exiting Unilever's portfolio is it might quieten the 'go woke and go broke' noise but more widely the reasoning for the decision looks pretty sound.

"It costs the company more to sustain the ice cream business, there is a different supply chain because it is dealing with frozen goods and it's more seasonal than the company's other roster of brands."

Haleon was in the black after Pfizer sold a larger-than-expected stake in the consumer healthcare group, taking its interest down to 22.6% from 32%.

Pfizer was planning to sell around 630m shares in a public offering but the size of the offering was increased to just over 790.5m.

Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey fell in tandem with Crest Nicholson, after the housebuilder said it had become aware of build defects on four sites that were completed prior to 2019 that could cost it up to £15m to remediate.

FTSE 100 - Risers

Unilever (ULVR) 3,938.50p 3.33%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 398.40p 2.15%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 158.60p 1.37%
BAE Systems (BA.) 1,321.00p 1.23%
Haleon (HLN) 318.80p 1.21%
Shell (SHEL) 2,590.00p 1.15%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,576.00p 1.02%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 656.60p 0.98%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,421.00p 0.92%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,930.00p 0.90%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Fresnillo (FRES) 439.90p -4.62%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RKT) 4,381.00p -4.24%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 91.65p -2.96%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,226.00p -2.39%
Centrica (CNA) 127.00p -2.04%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,263.50p -2.02%
Glencore (GLEN) 414.45p -1.93%
Entain (ENT) 760.80p -1.83%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 454.30p -1.71%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 137.00p -1.65%

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The information, investment views and recommendations in this article are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial product relating to any companies under discussion or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engaging in any other transaction. Any opinions or comments are made to the best of the knowledge and belief of the writer but no responsibility is accepted for actions based on such opinions or comments. Vox Markets may receive payment from companies mentioned for enhanced profiling or publication presence. The writer may or may not hold investments in the companies under discussion.

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