Unilever South East Africa is optimistic that it will return to profitability this year following improvements in key fundamentals and bumper harvest expected this year.
The company has attributed its poor turnover in 2016 to drought and dry spells the country experienced over the past two years.
Unilever Country Manager Anele Zunga said this on Wednesday on the sidelines of a handwashing campaign held at Kapeni Demonstration School in Blantyre.
“With bumper yields registered in the agriculture sector during this growing season, we will be able to reach out to more clients with our products,” Zunga said.
Zunga said with improved turnover, Unilever will be able to increase its funds towards corporate social responsibility initiatives like the handwashing campaigns.
The campaign, which targets five primary schools chosen after thorough research, seeks to encourage learners to wash their hands to prevent diseases like dysentery and diarrhea.
“We have reached out to 130,000 learners in 22 schools across the country through this initiative so far. We are optimistic that we will increase the numbers by next year following good business returns,” he said.
Senior medical officer at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (Qech) Dr Queen Dube, who was the guest of honour, said more than 96, 000 children suffer from diseases caused by lack of good hygiene and sanitation.
“This campaign will reduce cases of pupils suffering from dysentery and cholera. We at Qech are of the view that joint efforts with Unilever South East Africa are vital to dealing with such diseases,” she said.