Warburtons factory closure puts 218 jobs at risk

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Warburtons is to close its Giles Foods bakery
Warburtons is to close its Giles Foods bakery

Related tags Milton keynes Bread

Warburtons is to close its Giles Foods bakery in Milton Keynes, putting 218 jobs at risk. 

The decision followed a 45-day consultation process, with the site likely to close later this year. An exact date has yet to be confirmed.

Warburtons revealed plans to close the bakery in April, as reported by sister title British Baker.

A spokesman for Giles Foods said: “Following a full and meaningful consultation we have taken the difficult decision to close the Giles Foods bakery in Milton Keynes.

“Everyone impacted has been informed and we are now focused on supporting our people through this difficult time. This closure does not impact any other part of the Giles or Warburtons business.”

‘Supporting our people’

Giles Foods was acquired by Warburtons in 2013 and was the first acquisition to be made by the fifth generation of the Warburtons family.

It produces own-label baked products for retailers and the foodservice sector, including garlic bread, dough balls, tarts and buns.

The company reported an operating loss of £9.8M in its last financial results for the year ending September 26 2015, with sales of £22.7M.

In the statement, chairman Jonathon Warburton said trading performance had dipped following the loss of certain “major contracts”.

Performance had dipped

The closure of Giles Foods followed the release of Warburtons’ 2016 financial results, which saw the bakery’s operating profit grow to £35.4M from £34.6M – boosted by sales of its Giant Crumpets.

However, its overall turnover fell by £25.3M to £526.3M, attributed to a continued decline in the wrapped bakery market.

Warburton said: “Our performance has remained stable, despite the continuation of difficult trading conditions and volume decline in the wider bakery market.

“The performance reflects our continued focus on breakthrough innovation, quality and service in a very competitive marketplace.”

Meanwhile, 2 Sisters Food Group has confirmed its Smethwick poultry processing factory will close at the end of June, with 250 workers at risk of losing their jobs.

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