Nestle Deutschland, the German arm of the Swiss food group, has announced that it is to close a chocolate production plant in Berlin as a result of declining sales.
The company said in a statement that the plant at Berlin Templehof was to be closed at the end of 2003 after years of declining production. The Berlin facility produced Nestle's Yes brand which has seen sales fall steadily since 1998.
Stephan Tomat, chairman of Nestle Deutschland, said that the Yes brand - which was sold mainly through the Aldi discount chain - had suffered as a result of a shift towards brand name products and that all the company's efforts to reverse the decline had proved fruitless.
With this in mind, Nestle's German unit has decided to concentrate chocolate production on one plant in Hamburg, which it claims will help it be more competitive in a market which is becoming increasingly price conscious.
Part of the production from the Berlin plant will be transferred to Hamburg, along with some of the 460 employees, although Tomat did not say exactly how many jobs would be retained.