Britvic's 400 job losses are 'bitter blow'

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Britvic's recall last year cost £16.9M
Britvic's recall last year cost £16.9M

Related tags: Soft drinks, Mergers and acquisitions, United states, Britvic, Ag barr

Britvic's announcement last month that it planned to cut its operational costs by £30M by closing factories at Chelmsford, Huddersfield and a warehouse in Belfast may have been well received by City analysts, but came as a "bitter blow" to union Unite, which represents many of the 400 people who are likely to lose their jobs.

The news came as the soft drinks firm announced strong profits growth in its interim financial results for the 28 weeks to April 14. Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation were £53.6M, which is almost 28% up on the same period of 2012.

Reduction in headcount

While regretting the job losses, chief executive Simon Litherland said: "The initiatives proposed, along with the simplified organisational structure will, subject to appropriate consultation, lead to an overall reduction in headcount of between 10% and 15%."

Britvic also plans to combine its businesses in Britain and Ireland, invest in its procurement and product optimisation and invest £10M in its international business.

Less than 10%

AG Barr's proposed reverse takeover of Britvic is currently the subject of a Competition Commission inquiry, which is expected to publish its decision at the end of July. Recent reports suggested some analysts were now putting the likelihood of it receiving approval at less than 10%.

Both firms announced their plans to merge in September 2012.

Related topics: Drinks

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