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June 14, 2018, 4:51 a.m. EDT

Unilever 'extremely unlikely' to be in FTSE: CFO

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By Saabira Chaudhuri

LONDON--Unilever PLC on Thursday dashed investor hopes that it could maintain a primary listing in London following its move to consolidate its dual headquarters in Rotterdam.

Unilever, which currently operates as two separately listed companies--Unilever PLC and Unilever NV--said in March it would unify its dual British-Dutch legal structure.

"It's very clear to us that it's extremely unlikely that the new NV shares will be included in the FTSE UK series," said Unilever Chief Financial Officer Graeme Pitkethly at an investor conference in Paris on Thursday. "Consequently we think our weighting in the pan European indices will be increased."

Separately, Mr. Pitkethly said sales growth in the first half of the year would be below Unilever's full-year target of 3% to 5% due to strikes in Brazil. However, he maintained sales guidance for the year.

London shares of Unilever dropped 1.7% following his remarks.

Mr. Pitkethly said Unilever will maintain a premium listing in London. Despite the disappointment of not being able to list on Britain's blue-chip index the FTSE 100, of which Unilever is one of the largest components, he maintained that simplification is the "right thing for the company."

Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at Saabira.Chaudhuri@wsj.com

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