Harsh Business Environment

Harsh Business Environment: Unilever Stops Production In Nigeria

Harsh Business Environment

OpenLife Nigeria reports that Unilever Nigeria says it has stopped production and sales of home care and skin cleansing products — 10 months after the company announced plans to exit both markets.

The company disclosed this in its unaudited interim financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2023, published on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Wednesday.

On March 17, 2023, Unilever Nigeria revealed its intention to discontinue production of its homecare and skin-cleansing brands, which include Omo, Sunlight and Lux.

In a statement in the company’s earnings report, Unilever Nigeria said production and sales “ceased in December 2023”.

Unilever said the factory used to produce the home care and skin cleansing products has been leased out to a third party.

“Subsequent to the company’s exit from the Home Care and Skin Cleansing categories, the factory buildings have been leased to a third party for a duration of 10 years, with annual rental payments,” the company said.

Unilever Nigeria’s exit from the homecare and skin-cleansing markets leaves the company with just the foods, beauty and wellbeing, as well as personal care products.

Prior to Unilever Nigeria’s exit from both markets, the company reported a decline in revenue and an increase in losses.

Revenue fell by 45.1 percent year-on-year to N16,48 billion in 2023, from N23,92 billion grossed between January to December 2022.

Also, loss increased to N3.72 billion last year, compared to the previous year’s N1.49 billion.

Notably, many manufacturing companies have halted their operations in Nigeria in the last 10 years over worsening macroeconomic challenges.

Lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others have taken a toll on many businesses in the country.

High energy costs, a slowdown in industrial output, and a sluggish demand for products are also among the issues debilitating manufacturing activities in Nigeria.


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