Unilever Achieves Strong Recovery in Nigeria, Invests N5bn
The Chairman and board of Unilever Nigeria PLC analysed recent results for the company which showed a strong recovery in the last quarter of 2006 and significant growth in the first quarter of 2007.
This was at a recent Investors' Forum held at the Company's premises, Oregun on the 5th July 2007. In attendance were representatives of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Shareholders, Stockbrokers and the Press. There, the Chairman and board of Unilever Nigeria PLC assured all that Unilever has indeed recovered as evidenced by its growing market share and increased consumer off-take.
Members of the board are confident that the positive underlying trend will continue as the Company has emerged strongly from its difficulties in the early part of last year and continues to maintain and grow market share leadership with its principle Brands and Categories.
The overall response was positive with stakeholders expressing appreciation for progress being made. However, expectations are very clear: Sustainable and profitable long term growth, nothing less.
In the huge Laundry market Unilever’s flagship brand, Omo is market leader.
In the toothpaste sector, Close Up has a strong number one position in a category that is showing significant growth.
In the personal care and baby markets the company’s Lux and Pears brands enjoy strong number two market positions.
In its Foods portfolio the company is seeing particularly high levels of growth. Unilever has leading positions in the bouillon sector with its main Knorr and Royco brands.
Blue Band is the dominant market leader in the margarine sector.
Lipton is a very powerful brand enjoying number one position in the tea category.
One of Unilever’s significant strengths in Nigeria is that its brands are at the heart of every home with products available in affordable formats, pack sizes and price points. Literally, the company’s brands are available in every household in the country.
Every day millions of Unilever products are purchased and consumed in Nigeria. Consumers trust the Company’s principal brands as these have been established in the market for many decades.
Unilever’s strategy is to bring innovation to its consumers by continually developing and updating its principal brands. This means Nigerian consumers continue to see the Unilever brands they know and trust with the benefit of improved performance and value for money.
At the heart of Unilever’s confidence in the future are plans to invest more than N5bn over the next two years in new manufacturing facilities and production upgrades. This demonstrates the commitment that the international group has in the future of its brands and its company in Nigeria.
In recent months the company has gone through a significant re-structuring programme which has reduced operating costs whilst increasing efficiency.
The Board announced the appointment of the new Managing Director (Thomas Boedinger) along with that of the Finance Director (Rob O’Neill) and Customer Development Director (James Wandawanda).
Unilever has also taken the opportunity to renew its sales and distribution model which will provide even greater visibility of its brands in all the main sales outlets in the country.
The company approaches the next few years with a very positive attitude confident that all stakeholders in the business will benefit from the aggressive growth strategy it is pursuing.
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