Unilever is to axe 20,000 jobs over the next four years. The cuts – equivalent to 11% of its workforce – will mainly affect Europe in a bid to reduce costs by €1.5bn by 2010.
The group is also selling off some of its brands, including its North American laundry business, which manufactures Surf.
Unilever, whose other brands include Hellman’s Mayonnaise and Sunsilk hair products, reported underlying sales growth of 5.8% for the April to June period.
Unilever has cut 223,000 staff since 2004 by selling off businesses and restructuring as part of its growth strategy and the One Unilever programme.
Last month, the company made sweeping changes to its marketing division in the UK, reducing its team to just two marketing directors.