Unilever invests €40 million in catering to China's western markets

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever invests €40 million in catering to China's western markets

Related tags Investment

Phase I of Unilever’s facility in the company’s global manufacturing base in Meishan has been completed, which will mainly cater to China's western markets.

The personal care giant has declared China to be the 'market with the greatest potential', and has therefore invested 300 m RMB in the plant, which is set to become a base for Unilever's full product range.

Local analysts report that the facility will house 1,000 staff over the next ten years and will reduce transportation costs for Unilever.

"China is still the best or at least one of the best countries in the world for us to invest in. We hold an optimistic view about this new plant to satisfy the demand in southwest China,​" says Marijn van Tiggelen, president of Unilever North Asia.

According to van Tiggelen, Unilever has 'great confidence' in the economic development of Meishan, where it has been one of the first international companies to set up shop.

In fact, Sichuan has been tipped to become increasingly significant in international economic and trade matters in years to come.

Decline in revenues, despite China having 'the greatest potential'

Although profits were up for the Anglo-Dutch consumer giant last month, Unilever reported a decline in revenues for the previous quarter.

The company noted a slump in China to have impacted its' personal and home care divisions, which it attributed to trade de-stocking.

Full-year profit climbed 6.8% to €5.2 bn, despite a 2.7% fall in revenue to €48.4 bn, which was adversely affected by a 20% sales decline in China in the fourth quarter.

New launches saved the day...

However, in personal care, Unilever reported itself to have grown ahead of weaker markets helped by a strong set of new product launches.

In Asia, the brand said that revenues were boosted by the launch of the Sunsilk Naturals range, which was popular in a host of countries throughout the region.

Likewise, the Baby Dove brand in Brazil was well received by consumers, helping to boost the skin cleansing segment, which was also driven by strong performances by the Lifebuoy and the improved Dove Nutrium Moisture body wash brands.

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