FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Unilever would need to cut more jobs in Europe if real income levels among consumers fall, weighing on demand for brand-name items, Chief Executive Paul Polman was quoted as saying in an interview on Saturday.
“If markets such as those in Europe don’t grow any more because people have less real income available, we still must find a way to make our product lines available,” Polman was quoted as saying in the summary of an interview to appear in the Monday edition of Germany’s WirtschaftsWoche magazine.
“And that means that we need to cut costs now and also close factories if the need is no longer there,” he was quoted as saying.
A Unilever spokesperson played down the report, pointing to the company’s quarterly results unveiled on July 24, which did not include any new savings programs at the group.
“We have not announced any further cost savings,” he said.
A slowdown in emerging markets and declining prices in developed markets weighed on sales growth at the Anglo-Dutch maker of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Dove soap and Lipton tea
in the second quarter.
Reporting by Thomas Atkins; Editing by Stephen Powell