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Unilever Ramps Up South African Output for 1 Billion Rand

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Unilever, the world’s second-largest consumer-goods maker, plans to spend 1 billion rand ($112 million) building a new plant and upgrading factories in South Africa as consumers there buy more home-care products.

Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd., a unit of the Rotterdam-and London-based company, plans to construct a factory in the east of Johannesburg at a cost of 800 million rand, spokeswoman Unathi Mgobozi said by e-mail today.

Construction work will start before the end of June and production lines will be commissioned into next year, Mgobozi said, declining to say how many jobs will be created. The Unilever unit also plans to spend 200 million rand to improve existing facilities, she said, declining to disclose how the expansion will be funded.

“We are observing higher levels of consumption in the home-care category,” Mgobozi said.

The Durban-based company, in which Remgro Ltd. owns a 25.8 percent stake, sold its Mrs H.S. Balls chutney brand to Tiger Brands Ltd. in December for 475 million rand.

Remgro dropped 1.5 percent to 163.31 rand in Johannesburg trading today, giving the company a market value of about 84 billion rand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jaco Visser in Johannesburg at avisser3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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