Food manufacturer Unilever has threatened that it may be forced to quit the UK under current financial conditions.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Unilever chief executive Paul Polman said that current business conditions, coupled with increasing taxes and regulations, meant the company could become “non-competitive” in the UK.
Mr Polman explained: “We do have choices where we put research laboratories, choices for manufacturing facilities and choices where we put our senior management. Any responsible businessman needs to continue to assess that within an everchanging global environment.”
It is thought that increasingly rates of corporation tax are driving companies abroad.
The news follows the release of Unilever’s end-of-year results which show sales growth of 3.5 per cent in 2009.
Commenting on the results, Mr Polman said that the company made progress in emerging markets and strengthened its volume growth in Western Europe.
“Our brands are stronger, driven by better quality innovation and a step-change in advertising and promotional expenditure,” he explained.