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21.03.2006 Business & Finance

Unilever scales one trillion cedis sales mark

By GNA

Accra, March 21, GNA - Unilever Ghana Limited, home and personal care and food products manufacturer, says the Company hit a turnover of one trillion cedis, making it one of the eight companies in the country to attain the feat.

The growth was accomplished on the back of better market performance, progress in expanding the sub-regional export business and effective cost cutting measures as a result of restructuring programmes. The local market contributed 925.2 billion cedis while exports fetched 110 billion cedis.

"This excellent performance was driven by an exceptional growth of 28 per cent in foods, and an improved sales mix in both home and personal care and foods," Mr Charles Cofie, Chief Executive of Unilever, told journalists and brokers on the Ghana Stock Exchange's Facts Behind the Figures programme.

Mr Cofie said the result was an indication that strategies adopted by the Company to invest behind fewer strong brands, adopt competitive consumer marketing and trade development as well as cost cutting measures were yielding results.

On the influx of various brands of soaps and oils on the Ghanaian market, Mr Cofie said Unilever was not afraid of competition but stood strongly against acts that could undermine healthy competition. However, he said, counterfeiting and other bad trade practices could negate the benefits of the economic stability that the country had so far achieved.

"Unilever will continue to explore avenues to enable it stay at the top of the competition in both the local and Sub-Regional markets through brands, ensuring consumer preference for Unilever brands and attaining a leading market focus," Mr Cofie said.

Besides, there would be specific measures to scale up the business beyond the shores of Ghana by constantly dialoguing with authorities to remove impediments to effective Sub-Regional trade and to allow the protocols to work.

Mr Cofie said Unilever would ensure that prices of its products were affordable and met the needs of the poor. Mr Emmanuel Idun, Finance Director, said Unilever was showing signs of a strong and healthy company.

He said the growth was achieved despite a hike in oil prices that drove cost in the first quarter 2005 by 50 per cent. Unilever made a net profit of 96.9 billion cedis in 2005 compared to 61.3 billion cedis for 2004. 21 March 06

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