Dutch news in brief, 28 July 2004

28th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

Unilever profits up 34pc, but ice cream sales fall

Unilever profits up 34pc, but ice cream sales fall

Anglo-Dutch food and cleaning products company Unilever reported on Wednesday a 34 percent rise in net profits in the first quarter of 2004 with help from asset disposals. But the company also said overall sales fell 3 percent to EUR 10.83 billion due to low ice cream sales. Unilever said net profits rose by 34 percent to EUR 770 million compared with EUR 573 million in the same period last year, news agency AFP reported. It said the increase was mainly due to capital gains from asset sales. Cool and rainy summer weather in northern Europe this summer has led to a slump in sales of ice cream and ice tea products.

Dutch law bans sperm contest shows

Television programmes such as Sperm Race and Make me a mum — which will pit sperm against sperm — are unlikely to be aired on Dutch television. Dutch embryo legislation bans the commercial use of egg cells, sperm and embryos and the Health Ministry has confirmed it will take action against Dutch-based television company Endemol International if it moves to have the shows broadcast in the Netherlands, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad has reported. But the ministry said it will not take action against Endemol just yet because intentions are not prosecutable. The Christian Democrat CDA has labelled the shows distasteful and has urged for European-wide action to be taken against Endemol. The Sperm Race show is being made in Germany and the Make me a mum programme is currently the subject of negotiations in the UK and the US.

Netherlands exceeds fish quotas

A European Commission has accused the Netherlands of exceeding European fish quotas for the third consecutive year. The EC claims the limits are being exceeded by margins of 1 to 4 percent, with herring catches especially above the limit, Radio Netherlands reported Wednesday. The Netherlands is alleged to be the only EU member state to have breached limits three consecutive times.

Milkshakes get the thumbs down

After criticising olibollen and haring in the Netherlands, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (AD) issued a hard assessment against the Dutch nation's milkshakes on Wednesday. The newspaper said some milkshakes were "swarming with bacteria" and another was "a cloyingly sweet cocktail that left a consumer confused". News agency Novum reported that the AD also said the cleaning of milkshake machines left a lot to be desired, but asserted the best shake to buy was at the Burger King — not too thick, not too sweet and bacteria free. Milkshakes from McDonalds were judged to be satisfactory, but were also assessed to be too sweet. Swirl's and Verhage milkshakes breached microbiology health regulations, but Dutch fast-food chain De Febo was the greatest loser. A Febo outlet in Vlaardingen in Zeeland sold a milkshake with 1,800 times the legally permitted amount of bacteria, the AD said. 

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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