An ongoing programme to slash central costs at Unilever is likely to result in job cuts in the UK.
The simplification project, which is part of the Path to Growth brand rationalisation programme, will involve greater centralisation in administrative functions, HR, finance and IT, said a spokesman.
The move was announced as Unilever posted a lacklustre set of interim results with profits held up by cost-cutting rather than sales growth.
Despite strong performances from Hellmann’s, Impulse, Sunsilk and Birds Eye ready meals, Unilever’s UK business did not buck the downward trend in the group, which posted a 3% drop in first-half turnover.
However, new variants of Sure, Dove and Sunsilk would be launched in the UK in the second half, while Lipton Ice Tea was showing double-digit sales growth, albeit from a low base.
Group sales of leading brands including Dove, Knorr and Persil were flat, dented by poor sales of ice cream and ready to drink tea sales in Europe and stiff competition from rivals.
Pre-tax profit was up 5% to E2.1bn on turnover down 3% to E20.6bn in the six months to June 30.