Multinational company, Unilever has fired a massive number of staff in Nigeria after donating the sum of 100 million euros to help fight the dreadful global Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Unilever, one of the world’s leading consumer goods companies, also fired a number of brand ambassadors in the country.
The dismissal, TNG learnt, is expected to take effect from June, barring any last minute intervention.
“Why should our dismissal be now, of all time! We have spent all we have during this pandemic and we were not expecting something like this.
“Good people of Nigeria, help us beg Unilever to at least give us till the end of the year to be able to save something before asking us to go. Please don’t do this to us,” one of those affected told TNG in tears.
According to a source who refused to be named, over 400 staff and brand ambassadors of the company are affected.
The staff and brand ambassadors of Unilever Nigerian Plc affected had already been notified, the source revealed to TNG.
While reasons for the retrenchment are yet to be known, efforts to reach Oluwasoromidayo George, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business, Ghana and Nigeria at Unilever proved abortive at the time of filing this report.
Also, the Unilever Ghana and Nigeria Corporate Communications department refused comments.
Recall, however, that in April, Unilever Nigeria Plc announced Q1 results of its operations. Key extracts of the three-month report for the period ended March 31, 2020.
In the period, the company saw a 30 percent drop in revenues, reflecting a tough start to the year for the consumer goods giant.
The firm’s turnover dropped from N19.24 billion in first quarter 2019 to N13.33 billion in first quarter 2020.
Gross profit declined from N3.87 billion to N3.43 billion. Operating profit slumped to N453.45 million in first quarter 2020 compared with N1.32 billion in first quarter 2019.
Profit before tax dropped by 53 per cent to N948.47 million in 2020 as against N2.03 billion in 2019.
With tax gains, net profit after tax increased to N1.11 billion in first quarter 2020, but still below N1.52 billion recorded in comparable period of 2019.
Earnings per share stood at 19 kobo by March 2020 as against 26 kobo posted by March 2019.
Unilever Nigeria had witnessed a general decline in performance in 2019 as the company struggled with sluggish market and declining margins.
The audited report for the year ended December 31, 2019 had shown that turnover dropped from N92.89 billion in 2018 to N60.5 billion in 2019.
The company recorded a loss after tax of N7.42 billion in 2019 as against net profit of N10.55 billion in 2018.
However the bad outlook, Unilever was not deterred from going ahead to make massive contributions to the global response against COVID-19, at the detriment of its employees.
During the quarter, Unilever introduced a wide-ranging set of measures to the tune of 100 million euros to support global and national efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, the firm made available the sum of 500 million euros of cash flow relief for it’s suppliers and retail customers, to retain market relevance while the fate of employees is left hanging.