Nirma to enter toothpaste business; starts production

MUMBAI: Nirma, the Rs 17-billion detergent, soap and personal care products brands that gives Hindustan Lever Limited a 'complex' has decided to make foray into toothpaste market. This news comes in the wake of reports that Unilever's Close Up ceases to be a global brand.

The company's annual report says that the company has already started manufacturing toothpaste at its 2000 tonne-plant in Gujarat. The company claims to have sold 99,060 tonnes of toilet soaps in 2002-3 whereas detergent sales were stagnant at 0.77 million tonnes. The net sales for the year ended 31 March 2003 were around Rs 20.5 billion and net profit was Rs 2.15 billion.

With its multi-locational integrated manufacturing facilities, Nirma also exports to the Middle East and neighbouring countries. The company has strengthened operations with backward and forward integration projects involving planned investments in excess of Rs 10 billion. The report says that the company focuses on a strong R&D base for continuous product development.

The Nirma report says that the progress made by the company has been achieved through a valued human resource pool and the growth has been balanced with socially responsibility.

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