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Unilever Caribbean Ltd has recorded a loss for the 2019 financial year of $54.3 million according to its 2019 audited financial statements.

The loss follows a decline of 10.5 per cent in revenue when compared to 2018. Revenue for 2019 was $284.5 million while in 2018 the company recorded $317.8 million. In the circumstances it told shareholders the will not receive a dividend payment for the financial year 2019.

“Considering the 2019 financial results and the continued uncertainty, which will require maximum liquidity and a strong balance sheet, the Board of Directors has decided that no dividends will be distributed for the year ended 2019,” the company noted.

Unilever admitted that COVID-19 has already impacted its business but assured measures have been taken to safeguard the health and safety of employees while continuing to serve customers.

“The pandemic has caused further uncertainty in a fragile economic context and the company has committed to working with its more vulnerable business partners through cash flow support in these challenging times,” the company said.

It however noted that gross margins improved to 37.0 per cent from 33.8 per cent in 2018.

Unilever reported that selling and distribution and administrative expenses were held broadly in line with prior year, resulting in an operating profit of $464,000.

In 2019, the company also completed a review of its business model which would put it on a path to a sustainable and profitable operation.

Unilever revealed that in making the required changes to its business model, significant restructuring expenses of $103.7 million were incurred, resulting in an operating loss after restructuring of $103.3 million and with an overall loss for the period of $75.9 million.

It added the remeasurement of the defined benefits in relation to the company’s pension plan created a net positive impact of $21.7 million, resulting in a total comprehensive loss of $54.3 million for the year.

Looking ahead, the company said it will focus on delivering growth, leveraging the improved profitability of home care, increasing consumer communication, driving beauty and personal care through innovation and a focus on the health and beauty channel and refreshment through increased trade activation.

“The low-price segment will also be better served through targeted innovation, more relevant communication and expanded distribution.

“The company is now better prepared and positioned to face and overcome the challenges of 2020,” it added.