Unilever Ireland back in black with €6.3m profit

The Irish arm of consumer goods giant Unilever last year returned to pre-tax profit to record a surplus of €6.3m.

Three million Irish consumers use a Unilever product every day and new accounts filed by Unilever Ireland Ltd show the firm recorded a pre-tax profit last year after sustaining pre-tax losses of €8.9m in 2013. That represented a positive swing of €15.2m.

The UK-based firm, which sells the Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream brand along with the Knorr and Hellman’s food brands, last year saw an 8.5% drop in revenues going from €263.95m to €230.92m.

The drop arose from the firm discontinuing its international business which accounted for €33m of revenues in 2013 that did not reoccur in 2014.

The loss in 2013 arose from exceptional costs of €11m relating to restructuring costs arising from the international business disposal.

Nick Johnson, managing director of Unilever Ireland, said yesterday: “With the ongoing investment made in our brands, our people and organisational capabilities Unilever is well-placed to be competitive in Ireland now and in future years.

“We have a strong portfolio of brands and market leadership across many of the categories in which we operate. Three million Irish consumers use our products every day.

“The changing Irish retail environment and consumer trends will be a key focus for the business to ensure we continue to offer our shoppers and consumers great products.”

A breakdown of the firm’s revenues show that €139.59m came from the sale of food products with €91.32m from detergent and toiletries.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €982,000.

It also took in the accounting of restructuring and associated costs of €1.179m and a goodwill impairment of €533,000 in 2014.

Three directors who served during the year received total remuneration of €777,000 with the highest paid director receiving €270,000 including benefits in kind of €121,000.

Arising from the restructuring, numbers employed by the firm reduced from 143 to 113 with staff costs reducing from €18m to €13.3m.


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