Imperial preparing for factory closures

| April 16, 2014

The Imperial Tobacco Group is proposing to close its cigarette factories at Nottingham, U.K., and Nantes, France.

The proposed closures are part of a number of “European restructuring projects” that could see 900 jobs axed.

In a note posted on its website, Imperial said the projects, which are planned to be “implemented progressively” during the next two years, were aimed at strengthening its competitive position.

The proposed closures reflected declining industry volumes in Europe, impacted by tough economic conditions, increasing regulation and excise and the growth in illicit trade, the note said.

Production had been affected at the Nottingham and Nantes sites, which now utilized less than half their manufacturing capacity.

The projects could reduce the group’s workforce by 900. Employees, works councils and trade unions had been informed and consultation processes were now underway, the note said. A comprehensive range of measures to support employees would be discussed as part of the consultations.

“These projects are an essential part of securing the sustainable future of the business,” said Alison Cooper, chief executive. “The prospect of job losses is always regrettable, and we will be doing all we can to support employees and ensure that they are treated in a fair and responsible manner.”

The proposed projects were said to support the group’s cost optimization program, which is expected to deliver savings of £300 million a year from September 2018.

Category: Breaking News

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