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This is the size of the share buyback launched by consumer goods business Unilever (ULVR), along with a 12% dividend increase following a wide-ranging review.

Rattled by a bid from Kraft Heinz, under-fire Unilever is ramping-up returns to shareholders and taking on higher leverage.

Chief executive Paul Polman’s move is curious as the shares trade at all-time highs; buybacks typically occur when share prices are low.

Unilever is also exiting the declining spreads business, combining Foods and Refreshment into one organisation, reviewing its dual listing and targeting a 20% underlying operating margin by 2020.

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