Five years before consumer spend returns

Multi-national companies increasingly turns to emerging markets for growth
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A number of multi-national firms have stated that it could be up to five years before Europe sees any significant level of growth.

According to the Telegraph, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble and Reckitt are increasingly looking to emerging markets as a key area for growth, with over 50 per cent of Proctor & Gamble’s revenue coming from such markets.

“I cannot see that Europe and the US will show significant growth for five years at least,” said Unilever’s chief executive Paul Polman. “Our business is driven by employment levels and consumer confidence. In Europe it will be difficult to move unemployment from 10 per cent.”

Meanwhile, Reckitt’s chief executive Bart Becht reported that his company had lost money just trying to maintain its position: “Six months ago we were seeing 4pc growth in our markets in Europe, now it is below one per cent. In Europe there is now virtually no market growth. We have not lost market share. The key driver of the fall was extra promotional spend to maintain market share, coupled with economic problems.”

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