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Marmite maker to cut 7,500 jobs

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Marmite maker Unilever has announced they are to cut 7,500 jobs in an attempt to “maximise returns for shareholders.”

Unilever who employs 128,000 workers globally said the main job cuts will come from office roles.

To boost productivity the company will be investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and IT to save around £684 million over the next three years.

Once Unilever has identified the affected roles consultation will begin, there are 6,000 roles in the UK and some of those jobs will be lost.

Unilever are set to demerge the ice cream business which include Magnum and Cornetto brands and Ben & Jerry’s within the next year.

The company are expected to deliver savings of £984 million over the next three years and around 1.2% of their turnover will be spent on restructuring over the period.

Hein Schumacher, the company’s chief executive, said: “Under the Growth Action Plan we have committed to do fewer things, better, and with greater impact.

“The changes we are announcing today will help us accelerate that plan, focusing our business and our resources on global or scalable brands where we can apply our leading innovation, technology and go-to-market capabilities across complementary operating models.

Simplifying our portfolio and driving greater productivity will allow us to further unlock the potential of this business, supporting our ambition to position Unilever as a world-leading consumer goods company delivering strong, sustainable growth and enhanced profitability.

We are committed to carrying out our productivity programme in consultation with employee representatives, and with respect and care for those of our people who are impacted.”

Ian Meakins, chairman of Unilever, said: “The separation of ice cream and the delivery of the productivity programme will help create a simpler, more focused, and higher performing Unilever.

“It will also create a world-leading ice cream business, with strong growth prospects and an exciting future as a standalone business.”

Matt Britzman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said of the update: “Action is what shareholders wanted to see from the new team at the top, and that’s what’s been delivered today.

“Ice cream always looked like the odd one out when you compare it to other product lines, and performance has struggled of late.

“It’s not a huge shock to see this move, but it’s something prior management wasn’t able to deliver.

“Unilever’s not an overly expensive name at the minute so expect markets to react positively to the news, perhaps more due to the decisive action than anything else.”

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