Unilever has said it is stockpiling Magnum and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, in preparation for a no-deal Brexit.

The Consumer goods giant, whose products include Marmite, Dove, and Colman's Mustard, said it was holding a few weeks' worth of extra stock in case of disruption to supply chains.

It follows in the footsteps of other firms who are stockpiling ahead of Brexit.

The UK is due to leave the EU in March but fears are mounting it will exit without a deal.

Magnum ice cream products produced by Unilever. Credit: PA

The firm's Leeds factory, which makes Sure, Lynx and Dove, supplies the whole of Europe, while its ice creams are produced on the continent.

Graeme Pitkethly, chief financial officer of the consumer goods giant, said: "There has been just under half a billion increase in inventory and that is really due to some specific strategic decisions that we've made to mitigate some specific factors in this topsy-turvy world.

"We're building stocks for Brexit, obviously, and assuming the worst-case scenario there, that is a build-up similarly around sanctions and other things."

Other companies such as French pharmaceutical Novartis and Premier Foods have also said they are stockpiling goods ahead of Brexit.

Meanwhile, Unilever's new boss started his tenure on a downbeat tone, saying he expects the new year to remain tough and that sales growth will come at the lower end of the firm's target.

Chief executive, Alan Jope said: "In 2019 we expect market conditions to remain challenging.

"We anticipate underlying sales growth will be in the lower half of our multi-year 3%-5% range, with continued improvement in underlying operating margin and another year of strong free cash flow."

He confirmed Unilever is on track for its 2020 goals.