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Dec 2, 2008

Unilever to cut 250 research jobs worldwide

Consumer goods maker Unilever Plc/NV said on Monday it was cutting 250 jobs worldwide as it streamlines its three research and development operations into one to improve efficiency and cut costs.

The Anglo-Dutch group, which makes Knorr soups and Dove soaps, said most of the cuts would be at its British and Dutch research centres as it combines research into foods, soaps and shampoos and longer-term corporate activity into one structure.

Around 100 jobs will go from the group's two British sites at Port Sunlight in northwest England and Colworth in southern England and another 68 from its Vlaardingen site in the Netherlands, with a big chunk of the rest of the job losses coming at its Trumbull site in the United States.

A Unilever spokesman said none of its six global research sites would close, but there was likely to be a shift in resources towards its two other sites in Bangalore in India and Shanghai in China to reflect the sales growth the group is seeing in the emerging markets of Asia.

Unilever spent 868 million euros ($1.1 billion) on research in 2007, or around 2.2 percent of its annual turnover of around 40 billion euros. It currently employs around 6,500 people in research out of a global workforce of 174,000.

Source : Reuters
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