Unilever boss Alan Jope says firm will be hit by coronavirus crisis

Unilever braces for a rocky ride as boss admits coronavirus outbreak is ‘clearly concerning’

Coronavirus concerns: Unilever boss Alan Jope

The boss of Unilever says it will take a hit from the coronavirus crisis but the extent ‘is not yet clear’.

Alan Jope said the Covid-19 outbreak was ‘clearly concerning’ and the firm, which owns brands such as Dove soap and Marmite, was monitoring the situation closely. It comes as businesses around the world brace for further disruption.

A 38-year-old Unilever manager in Italy has tested positive for the virus without even visiting China. Sixty of his work colleagues were isolated.

Jope, 55, said: ‘The safety and wellbeing of our people has been the priority. Inevitably, however, there will be an adverse impact.’

Jope was handed £4.3million for his first year, after taking over in January 2019, as Unilever yesterday reported a slump in annual profits for 2019.

It is to close its washing powder factory in Warrington, putting 123 jobs at risk, because consumers prefer liquid gel detergents.


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