Emerging Markets : Company To Watch: Unilever Indonesia

UNILEVER CLEANS UP ACT OVER PALM OIL


 

Unilever Indonesia recently opened a factory for skin-care products in Cikarang, West Java. The factory joins seven others operated by Unilever in the country, where Lever Brothers opened a soap factory in 1933. The company produces a range of consumer products, from soup to nuts, as well as soaps, detergents and cosmetics. Its shares are listed on the Jakarta and Surabaya stock exchanges.

Anglo-Dutch parent Unilever, one of the largest buyers of palm oil, is backing a moratorium on deforestation to protect Indonesia’s rainforest from destruction due to encroaching palm-oil plantations. It has pledged to use only fully traceable, sustainable palm oil by 2015 and is working closely with local suppliers to identify the source of its raw materials. The company said the decision was not prompted by Greenpeace campaigners, who climbed its London headquarters building last year.

Unilever Indonesia’s earnings rose by 30% in the first three quarters of 2008 from the same period a year earlier. Revenues rose more than 22%, amid rising consumer spending in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, which has a fast-growing food-and-drinks industry.



Gordon Platt

 

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