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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Unilever to Ax 25,000

LONDON -- Unilever PLC, the world's largest consumer goods group, on Tuesday said it will eliminate 25,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its work force, over the next five years as part of a massive restructuring aimed at reinvigorating a sluggish top line.

The British-Dutch giant also reported lower 1999 pretax profits of pounds 2.92 billion ($4.7 billion) at constant currencies, down 5 percent from 1998 and in line with analysts' estimates. On a current currencies basis, pretax profits were pounds 2.86 billion, down 7 percent.

Sales were pounds 27.63 billion on a constant basis, up 2 percent from the previous year. On a current currencies basis, turnover was pounds 26.99 billion, flat versus 1998.

In a bold attempt to shake off perceptions of inaction in the face of difficulty, Unilever set ambitious new targets to increase revenue growth to 5 percent and operating margins to 15 percent by 2004, versus 11.1 percent in 1999.