Consumer goods giant Unilever reaped the benefits of price-cutting and new products as it grew sales for the first time since last year.
The return to volume growth — up 2% between April and June — was better than expected and helped by demand for ice cream such as Ben & Jerry's in the summer despite “very challenging” European markets. It said underlying sales were up 4.1% in the second quarter.
Workers want no say in SAYE
The number of people taking advantage of savings schemes to buy shares in the company they work for has fallen to a 16-year low, research showed yesterday. Only 520,000 workers were members of Save As You Earn (SAYE) schemes during 2007/08, the latest year for which figures are available, down from a peak of 1.3 million in 2001/02, said accountants UHY Hacker Young.
‘Sensible shoes’ call in workplace
Chiropodists have warned of the “hazards” of women workers being forced to wear high-heeled shoes and called for them to be replaced with “sensible and comfortable” ones instead. Firms were urged to carry out health and safety risk assessments as part of a drive to cut the two million days a year lost through sickness as a result of limb disorders by the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.
Anger at battery factory closure
Union leaders have condemned plans to close a battery factory with the loss of 400 jobs.Unite said workers at the Exide plant in Bolton felt “angry and betrayed” that a business plan aimed at retaining production through the current recession had been rejected by the American-owned company.