Unilever has closed a factory in India after staff at the facility tested positive for Covid-19.

The FMCG giant told just-food workers at the plant in the northern city of Haridwar had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

“We can confirm that some workers at our Haridwar factory have tested positive for Covid-19 – most of them are asymptomatic – and we are offering support to them and their families,” a Unilever spokesperson said.

“We are currently advising our workforce to self-isolate and to monitor their health, and have temporarily closed the site while additional deep cleaning and sanitisation takes place.”

India newspaper DNA has reported at least 150 staff at the factory had tested positive for Covid-19. Unilever could not confirm the number at the time of writing.

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By GlobalData

The publicly-listed Hindustan Unilever, in which Unilever owns a majority stake, yesterday (21 July) published its financial results for the quarter to 30 June.

In a conference call with analysts, Hindustan Unilever said its food business had seen “broad-based, double-digit growth across segments” on the back of the “tailwind” of in-home consumption amid India’s lockdowns.

By contrast, the group said its ice cream, foodservice-focused food solutions and vending arms had been “severely impacted due to out-of-home consumption loss”.

Hindustan Unilever said segment revenue – which combines sales and “other operating income – from its food and refreshment division jumped 52% to INR29.58bn (US$396.8m).

The impact of the merger of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Limited with Hindustan Unilever, sealed in April, was a key factor. Overall, Hindustan Unilever’s group sales rose 4% to INR104.06bn. Excluding that deal, revenue declined 7%.

Hindustan Unilever’s profit after tax was INR18.81bn, up 7% on the corresponding period a year earlier.