BUSINESS

Unilever shifts production to Greece

Multinational company announces it will outsource a large range of its products to local industries By Dimitra Manifava

British-Dutch firm Unilever announced on Tuesday that 110 of its products that are currently imported to Greece from elsewhere in Europe will soon be produced in this country, in a much-needed boost for the local economy.

The move, which will cover the needs of the domestic market, will transform its local arm, Elais-Unilever Hellas, into a strategic pillar for the multinational group. Furthermore, not only will imports be reduced, but other industries will also have a stab at becoming sustainable as those 110 product codes will not be produced by Unilever’s Greek plants but outsourced to other Greek companies, the head of Elais-Unilever Hellas, Spyros Desyllas, explained.

He was speaking during a presentation to the media of Elais-Unilever Hellas’s new logistics and distribution center that went into operation this year at Schimatari, north of Athens.

FAMAR and Papoutsanis already produce Lux soap bars for Unilever, and procedures for cooperation with other firms, concerning Unilever’s cosmetic, detergent and personal hygiene products, are expected to continue up to the end of the first quarter of 2013.

The move will not include food products.

Up until today, most of these products have been manufactured at Unilever plants in France, Germany and other European countries. The new development will result in an increase in Unilever’s turnover from domestic production climbing from 55 percent to 60 percent in 2013.

“We never had the dilemma as to whether we should stay or leave. The history and the continuity of our investment program confirms that. Greece was, is and will be a pillar of growth for Unilever,” the head of Elais-Unilever Hellas stated. He went on to explain that the parent company’s reason for this decision is that production has recently become a little more competitive in Greece, while shipping costs will also be reduced.

Already Elais-Unilever Hellas exports products to 19 countries, with a turnover of 30 million euros, which corresponds to 7.5 percent of its total turnover.

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