Substantial marketing investments highlight Unilever’s confidence, long-term commitment – CEO


Unilever Ghana’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chris Wulf-Caesar, has reaffirmed the company’s long-term commitment to the country, citing substantial investments in branding and marketing over the past 18 months as evidence of their belief in the market’s potential.

The company’s financial results in 2023 reveal a marked increase in brand and marketing investment expenses, which soared from GH¢40.12million in 2022 to GH¢79.63million in 2023, nearly doubling the previous year’s expenditure.

“Our increased investment in branding and marketing underscores our unwavering commitment to Ghana. We see it as an investment. The more we invest in our iconic brands, the more we ensure that we are in every home, the more we increase shareholder value and the more we change the lives of consumers. We believe in the potential of this market and are here to stay,” Mr. Wulf-Caesar stated.

This assurance comes in response to recent concerns about Unilever’s future in the country, following internal developments and the exit of other notable businesses.

Recent reports have suggested that the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) leader was relocating its tea business to neighbouring Nigeria on account of tight business conditions. This, however, was part of a strategic decision taken in 2021 to streamline production.

Pay off

In addition to its marketing investments, Unilever Ghana exhibited remarkable cost-cutting measures, reducing administrative expenses from GH¢70.73million in 2022 to GH¢25.24 million in 2023—a 64.3 percent reduction. This prudent approach to cost management has substantially contributed to the company’s overall profitability.

The company’s operating profit surged by 586 percent from GH¢32.47million in 2022 to GH¢222.69million in 2023, which the company said underscores the effectiveness of its operational strategies and its ability to optimise its business processes.

Consequently, Unilever’s post-tax profit also saw a spike, rising 852 percent from GH¢14.84million in 2022 to GH¢141.4million in 2023.

Unsurprisingly,  investors have reacted positively to Unilever’s strong financial performance. The company’s share price started the year at GH¢8.11 and has since climbed 48 percent – and 127 percent over the last 12 months –  closing at GH¢12 per share on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) on its last trading day, Monday, May 13, 2024. This positions Unilever as the second-best performing stock on the GSE year-to-date.

Beyond profit

Beyond its financial achievements, Unilever remains committed to its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

The company has continued to champion sustainability practices, aiming to reduce its environmental footprint through various green initiatives, including the abolishing of single-use plastic in its offices.

Unilever said its dedication to social responsibility is reflected in its community programmes, which focus on improving health and well-being, enhancing livelihoods and supporting local education.

“Sustainability remains one of the brightest spots for us. We have been working well in this area, especially in line with the SDGs and we have locally-structured programme to meet these goals,” the company said.

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