Unilever’s Ghana business gets back on a path of sustained growth

By our News Team | 2023

Company showed Cover-induced losses in 2019 and 2020, but revised business strategies and customer loyalty has helped turn things around.

Unilever Ghana, the largest producer and retailer of consumer goods in the country, says it is back on a path of sustained growth after recording losses in 2019 and 2020, but returning to profitability in 2021 and 2022.

“As of the first quarter of the [2023] year, the business has posted a profit of GH¢28-million (US$2,55-million), confirming its resolve to keep the growth trajectory in the coming quarters and into the year and beyond,” the publication Graphic Business reports.

Business Strategy

Photo courtesy of Unilever

“The company also recorded a turnover of GH¢242-million (US$22-million) in the first quarter while its net cash reserves also recovered from a negative position.”

Unilever Ghana has a stable of popular brands – including Key Soap, Omo, Lux, Geisha, Frytol, Royco, Knorr, Pepsodent, Close-Up, Sunsilk and Annapurna.

Speaking at a recent media event, the Managing Director of Unilever Ghana, George Owusu-Ansah, said the bottom line had been impacted by Covid-19, but revised business strategies and strong customer loyalty had helped to turn the situation around.

“In full recognition of the times we are in, [there] is a continuous focus on our cost and making sure that we are taking out waste and reducing cost so that we don’t burden [consumers] with cost that does not give them any value at all,” he is quoted as saying by the publication Food Business Africa.

Depend on prudent management practices

“As a company, we pledge to continue to depend on our prudent management practices and the full cooperation of staff and distributors to achieve the dream.”

Owusu-Ansah also pledged that Unilever Ghana would continue to work towards a fairer and more socially inclusive world.

The company would help equip 10,000 young people with essential skills by the end of the year, help about 500 small and medium-scale enterprises to grow their business by 2025, and spend US$54,000 annually on diverse businesses by 2025.

From a global perspective, Unilever achieved a strong 2023 first quarter. Results published in April showed a 7% increase in turnover compared to 2022, a 10.5% increase in underlying sales growth, and a 10.7% increase in price growth. 

The brands Omo, Hellmann’s, Rexona and Lux produced particularly strong performances.

“Unilever has had a good start to the year, delivering another quarter of strong top line growth. We remain focused on navigating through continued macro-economic uncertainty and are confident in our ability to deliver another year of strong growth, which remains our first priority,” Chief Executive Officer, Alan Jope, said at the time.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

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    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
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    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.