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Unilever has commenced the fourth and final tranche of its share buyback programme to give back €3bn to shareholders.

Unilever announced the share buyback scheme, which would see it repurchase shares up to the value of €3bn, in February 2022 over the next two years.

Today it begins the fourth tranche of that programme, which will see it purchase up to €750m of shares over the coming three months.

The consumer giant will buy up to 253,000,000 shares to reduce its traded share capital.

The fourth tranche will commence immediately and will end on or before 22 December 2023.

It began its third tranche, which saw the repurchase of €750m of shares, in March.

Launching the €3bn buyback in 2022 chief financial officer Graeme Pitkethly said the programme reflected “the strength of our balance sheet, our leverage levels and the confidence that we have in our outlook and our cash flows going forward”.

“We think it’s the most value creating option within the capital allocation framework at the current time,” he said.

Morning update

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 is up 0.1% to 7,451.4pts.

Risers include Glanbia, up 3.8% to €15.43, Ocado, up 1.7% to 837.6p and Hilton Food Group, up 1.6% to 698p.

Fallers include Nichols, down 1.9% to 1,030p, McBride, down 1.8% to 38.2p and Greencore, down 1.6% to 406p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 recovered 0.2% to 7,441.7pts after three days of losses.

Pets at Home lost 9.4% back to 343.2p on the news the Competition and Markets Authority is investigation petcare fees.

Other fallers included THG, down 3.8% to 91.6p, DS Smith, down 3.5% to 294p, Greggs, down 3% to 2,370p, Ocado Group, down 2.8% to 823.4p, Just Eat, down 2.6% to 1,003p and Kerry Group, down 2.2% to €85.18.

The day’s risers included PayPoint, up 3% to 558p after a positive trading update.

Hilton Food Group also rose 1% to 687p on solid core meat performance and a recovery in its seafood business.

Other risers included AG Barr, up 2.5% to 496p, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, up 2.2% to €59.00, Reckitt Benckiser, up 1.2% to 5,744p, Nichols, up 1% to 1,050p, Unilever, up 1% to 4,019.5p and Hotel Chocolat, up 0.9% to 115p.