Unilever to invest €75 million in building capacity and capability in South Africa

London/ Rotterdam/ Durban 31 January 2013, Unilever has announced that it will invest €75 million (1 billion Rand) in South Africa to expand its capacity with a new, state-of-the-art Home Care factory and to upgrade existing sites in Johannesburg and Durban. This investment will support Unilever’s ambition of doubling the size of its business while reducing its environmental impact and increasing its positive social impact.

Unilever’s South African business is important in enabling the company to deliver consistent sustainable and profitable growth and grew ahead of its market in 2012. The country offers significant opportunities for Unilever to strengthen and grow its business. The factory will produce homecare produce brands like Omo and Skip laundry detergents, Comfort fabric conditioner Domestos bleach and Sunlight washing up for the domestic market and is expected to become an export hub for several other African markets.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Chief Supply Chain Officer Unilever, said: “Unilever’s supply chain is central to the company’s delivery of consistent, sustainable and profitable growth. This investment is part of our industrial expansion plans and one of the thirty new factories being built by 2015. We will employ the latest technology to deliver the increased quality products our consumers demand whilst meeting the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan commitments.”

This development follows a €50 million (670 million Rand) Unilever investment just over a year ago to open another new factory near Durban producing renowned Savoury brands such as Knorr, Robertson’s, Knorrox, Aromat and Rajah.

Marijn van Tiggelen, Unilever SA Chairman: “Today’s announcement is another example of our multi-year, multi-million investment plan to cater for our growth in South Africa. It will enable us to better serve consumers with innovation and green technology, as well as improve service levels to our retail customers. The €75 million project is one of Unilever’s largest investments globally and underscores our commitment to the long term future of South Africa and the continent as a whole. The development will deliver a low energy, environmentally efficient factory with zero waste to landfill.”

The factory will be built in Anderbolt, Boksburg, adjacent to Unilever’s main distribution centre in South Africa and production is expected to start in 2014. The factory will use efficient motors, drive mixers and air compressors, reducing energy requirement levels substantially and the application of smart water efficiency technology, enabling the recovery of 70% of all water used in production phases.

Anderbolt’s solid waste will be recycled to levels where nothing goes to landfill. A combined Heat and Powers system will be looked at to further optimise energy consumption.

Under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) launched in 2010, we are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals are more than 50 time-based targets.

Unilever directly employs 2,700 people full time in South Africa. Head office is in Durban with manufacturing plants in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg.

ENDS

Safe Harbour

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are; Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; increasing competitive pressures; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; finding sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and national disasters; the sovereign debt crisis in Europe; financial risks; and failure to meet high product safety and ethical standards; managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2011 and the Annual Report and Accounts 2011. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Unilever PLC

Unilever House
100 Victoria Embankment
London
EC4Y 0DY

+44 (0) 20 7822 5252
Press-Office.London@Unilever.com

Unilever NV

Weena 455
3013AL Rotterdam

www.unilever.nl(Link opens in a new window)

+31 (0) 10 217 4000
mediarelations.rotterdam@unilever.com

Trevor Gorin

Head of Unilever Global Media Relations

+44 7711 020438 

+44 207 822 6010
trevor.gorin@unilever.com

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