One thousand Unilever jobs in Germany are “under threat” as the FMCG giant looks to generate savings and grow profits, a local trade union has warned.

The NGG union claimed three Unilever plants in Germany – in the towns of Auerbach, Stavenhagen and Heilbronn – are “under review”.

The union said Unilever wants to “substantially reduce” labour costs at its 11 sites in Germany, where the Knorr and Magnum maker employs around 5,000 staff.

It also claimed Unilever wanted to make changes to workers’ terms and conditions.

Officials at Unilever could not be reached for immediate comment.

Earlier this month, Unilever reported higher first-half profits helped by sales growth it said was “ahead of our markets” and by efforts to control costs.

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By GlobalData

The company also lifted its forecast for its 2017 underlying operating margin, which it now expects to rise by “at least” 100 basis points, up from an earlier estimate of 80 basis points.

Unilever is targeting a 20% underlying operating margin, before restructuring, by 2020. The Anglo-Dutch group issued the target in April as part of the results of a review of how it creates value for shareholders. The review was announced after Unilever rebuffed takeover interest from Kraft Heinz.