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Newsletter December 2012


Consumer Giant Unilever Selects Greece for Production

Consumer giant Unilever formalized an investment initiative to begin production of its products in Greece, citing competitive advantages.

The agreement was heralded at a meeting of Unilever executives with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis at the premier's office.

Minister Hatzidakis welcomed that initiative as a "vote of confidence" in the Greek economy, with the creation of thousands of new jobs, stressing that the government will continue with similar efforts aiming at growth.

“We never had the dilemma as to whether we should stay or leave. The history and the continuity of our investment program confirm that. Greece was, is, and will be a pillar of growth for Unilever,” said Spyros Desyllas, the head of Elais-Unilever Hellas. He said that the parent company’s reason for this decision is that production has recently become more competitive in Greece, while shipping costs will also be reduced.

The British-Dutch dual-listed firm Unilever announced its intention to produce 110 of its products that are currently imported to Greece from elsewhere in Europe in Greece itself, covering the needs of the domestic market and transforming its local subsidiary Elais-Unilever Hellas into a strategic arm of the multinational group.

The 110 products will not be produced by Unilever's Greek plants but will be outsourced to other Greek companies.

The initiative is expected to increase Unilever's turnover from domestic production to 60 percent in 2013 from the current 55 percent. Unilever-Hellas currently exports products to 19 countries, with a turnover of 30 million Euro, accounting for 7.5 percent of its total turnover.

Greek enterprises FAMAR and Papoutsanis currently produce Lux soap bars for Unilever, and procedures for cooperation with other firms, concerning Unilever’s cosmetic, detergent and personal hygiene products, are expected to continue up to the end of the first quarter of 2013.

Most of these products have been manufactured at Unilever plants in France, Germany and other European countries.

The Unilever initiative comes on the heels of an agreement between Hewlett-Packard, COSCO and TrainOSE to use COSCO's cargo terminal at the port of Piraeus as a hub for the distribution of the electronics giant's products to Central Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe.