10:56 Friday 24 January 2014

Financial and jobs boost possibility for town firm

Written byROB SMYTH

INVESTMENT and new jobs could be in the offing at the firm which makes a divisive spread in Burton as it bids to capitalise on growth and a boom in sales in emerging markets.

Unilever, which makes Marmite at its Wellington Road factory, said pre-tax profit rose nine per cent to £5.9 billion thanks to a big boost in sales and could lead to a boost for its operation in the town.

The company said emerging markets, which account for 57 per cent of sales, grew by around 8.4 per cent and Unilever is now working a new strategy which will see a whole host of its products hopefully reach an audience of billions over the next 20 years.

Paul Polman, chief Executive, said: “2013 provides further evidence of the progress we are making in transforming Unilever into a sustainable growth company.

“We have delivered another year of consistent underlying sales growth and margin expansion coupled with strong cash flow.

“This has been achieved despite significant economic headwinds and highly competitive markets.

“Looking forward, we anticipate ongoing volatility in the external environment and are positioning Unilever accordingly.

“Although the investments we have made over the last five years ensure that we are well placed, we are determined to make Unilever even more agile and to fund further growth opportunities by driving out complexity and cost.

“Once again, we remain focused on delivering profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable core operating margin improvement and strong cash flow.”

The consumer goods giant, whose products also include Dove Soap, Lynx, Persil, Pot Noodle and Peperami, said new products such as Dove hair treatment and herbal infusions had helped it rack up its 25th quarter in a row of UK growth.

Unilever employs about 7,000 staff in the UK and has more than 40 brands.

This comes only weeks the Mail revealed that Marmite lost its top spot at the nation’s favourite spread.

The iconic brand has been ousted from top of the sales league by Rowse Honey, whose popularity has been boosted by the massive boom in home baking.

The spread has been a staple of the British diet since it was first produced in 1902.

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