Unilever plc (UL) To Slash Jobs, Reorganize Products To Combat Slowdown

Unilever plc (ADR)(NYSE:UL) is looking forward to slash 30% of its individual products by the end of 2014 to enhance efficiency and wither away the effect of economic slowdown. The consumer product giant would also eliminate around 2000 jobs, and would continue to adjust its portfolio.

The Anglo-Dutch company is looking forward to save around 500 million Euro next year by laying off the workforce, improving Supply chain and making other processes better.

Unilever feeling pressure

Unilever plc (ADR)(NYSE:UL) Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman said “The global economy has calibrated down about 1-1.5 percent and we probably should’ve done a better job seeing it coming.” Paul said that the opportunity is being used to increase the performance, as well as, to bring new energy into the organization.

Sales for the company came low, in the third quarter, after the demand was affected by the devaluation of some developing economy currencies and stiff competition by rival Procter& Gamble, which is shelling out a large chunk of money on promotion

“We lost our competitiveness,” Polman said. The executive added that the portfolio of the company lags behind competitors, but the retailer should deal with the deck of cards it has been given.

Divestments, enhancing big brands

Unilever plc (ADR)(NYSE:UL) is making an effort to enhance its 15 big brands that contribute more than 1 billion euros in annual revenue. According to Polman, the company would spin off its non-core, underperforming brands and acquire bolt-on brands, at the right time.

According to Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Huet, most of the brands to be sold would be from the Unilever’s food business, which include Knorr soups and Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Products from Personal care side including Radox soaps, Lux Shampoo and Vaseline would not be sold.

As per the media reports, Ireland’s Kerry Group is keen to buy Unilever’s Peperami sausage business.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, president of Unilever’s food business said that the company is taking ‘Bull by the Horns’ and is seeing the initial developments, but it will take time. Affrique turned down to reveal whether or not the company has decided upon a deadline to turnaround the business or save the sales from declining.

Unilever plc (ADR)(NYSE:UL) has launched new margarine products in Germany, the United States and Britain that focus on naturalness and healthiness. Latest deals include spin-off of Skippy peanut butter and Wishbone salad dressings.