Unilever invests in new areas

City A.M. Reporter
CONSUMER goods group Unilever expects to see three-quarters of its turnover from emerging markets by 2020 as heavy investment in these fast-growing regions and sluggish growth elsewhere take effect.

“Europe and the US will be, for the next 10 years, low-growth territories, I’m afraid. So, soon we will have 75 per cent of our turnover in emerging markets ... 70-75 per cent by the end of decade,” chief executive Paul Polman said in an interview.

“This is also where the 2bn more people will be born in the next 40 years, and obviously where most of the world growth is going to be.”

Unilever and its brands like <a href="http://www.knorr.co.uk"; target="_blank">Knorr</a>, Hellmann’s, Dove and Sunsilk already derive a higher proportion of sales in emerging markets now -- 55 per cent -- than key rivals Procter & Gamble and Nestle.

The Anglo-Dutch group’s growth is driven by its big presence in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with Brazil, India, China and Turkey among its fastest growing markets.

“So we are by any standards the emerging market company. We are growing by 10 per cent or more now consistently in the emerging markets, and that’s a very healthy growth,” said Polman.