Unilever continues to invest in Colombia to increase growth

London/ Rotterdam/Bogotá, 1 March 2012: Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman unveiled plans to build production and distribution facilities in Colombia that will help drive sustainable growth for the company in the fast-growing developing and emerging markets.

The company will invest about €75 million over the next three years to build a new, state-of-the-art laundry detergents factory at Palmira, Valle del Cauca and distribution complex to increase Unilever’s capacity for growth and service increasing demand for laundry products in Colombia and in other parts of Latin America. These developments complement the additional capacity already being built across Home Care, Personal Care, Refreshment and Foods categories in a number of developing and emerging market countries – from Mexico to Indonesia to South Africa – that will better enable Unilever to deliver bigger and better innovation more quickly to consumers.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Unilever’s Chief Supply Chain Officer said, 'Unilever, as the emerging markets consumer goods company has set itself an ambitious goal – to double the size of its business whilst reducing environmental impact. These new facilities will help us to continue to grow in Colombia, an important market in which we have strong category positions across our portfolio, as we do across Latin America.'

“Our business in Latin America makes up a significant proportion of the 54% that Unilever currently generates from emerging markets, a figure that we expect to rise significantly in the future. We are excited by the enormous possibilities these markets offer and more investments will undoubtedly follow.”

This investment is part of a programme to invest in building 20 or more factories to enable Unilever to leverage its leading position in developing and emerging markets by enabling sustainable and profitable growth. The new Palmira factory is scheduled to come on-stream in 2013.

Miguel Kozuszok, Executive Vice President of Unilever’s Latin America country cluster added, “We believe our latest investment will generate 650 jobs directly and indirectly and will enable us to produce locally the recently acquired Fab, Lavomatic and Vel Rosita brands that have given us a leading position in the Colombian laundry market.

“With over 60 years of Unilever history in Colombia, we have demonstrated long-term commitment to its growth and prosperity so far. Our continuing and significant investment in Colombia shows that we are equally committed to Colombia’s future growth, economic and environmental development.”

The Palmira factory will also incorporate innovation in processing and production technology that will help make it a sustainable plant, with an environmentally friendly design that applies the best operating practices of Unilever worldwide.

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