The Givaudan factory in Bromborough
A SWISS food manufacturer today announced plans to close its Bromborough factory with the loss of 150 jobs.
Givaudan has decided to move its savoury manufacturing operations in Wirral and Switzerland to a new £110m factory in Hungary that is scheduled to open by 2013.
There will be 150 redundancies at Bromborough while 24 roles will be transferred to other sites, some of which are in the UK.
The Bromborough factory was originally part of Unilever before it was sold to ICI in 1997, when it was known as Quest International. Givaudan bought Quest for £1.2bn in 2006.
Kevin Robinson, Givaudan’s Bromborough site manager, said: “We have carefully considered the proposal to close the manufacturing operation at Bromborough.
“The site has a rich heritage and everyone has worked very hard but unfortunately it can no longer meet our needs, and the investments required to upgrade it are prohibitive.
“It makes much more sense for our European customers, and for the long term good of our business overall, to build a dedicated new factory.
“If the proposal goes through, our priority will be to ensure that our employees receive the best possible financial and social care support.”
The Hungary plant will be near to its fast-growing markets in Eastern Europe. It expects the investment in the new factory to have an expected payback of seven years.
Production will continue at Bromborough as normal until the phased transfer starts in 2012. The plan is subject to employee consultation, which started today.
Givaudan will spend around £50m in restructuring costs, of which up to two thirds would fall in 2010 and the rest in 2011, it said.
The announcement was made to the Swiss stock exchange as part of an updated five-year strategy.
The global giant, which has sales of more than £2.5bn, is targeting emerging markets – in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe – to account for half of its sales by 2015.
Givaudan’s chief executive Gilles Andrier, said: “Following the successful integration of Quest, we are entering the next era of profitable growth for the business.
“The overall objective is to grow organically between 4.5% and 5.5% per annum, based on an assumed market growth of 2% to 3%, and to continue on our path of market share gain over the next five years.”