Nestlé shifts Smarties production

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

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Major restructuring for Swiss based confectionery company Nestlé
has cost 645 jobs in England as the company prepares to move
production of some of its core brands.

The confectioner announced this week that it would cut jobs at its factory in York and shift production to mainland Europe.

The move is part of Nestlé's new drive towards streamlining production and investing in reviving core brands, the company plans to invest £20m (€29.8m) in the factory over the coming year to improve production.

Chief executive officer of Nestlé UK Alastair Sykes said: "The UK confectionery market is very competitive. Our Nestlé Rowntree business has market-leading brands and strong potential, and this restructure and investment programme will ensure that it is competitive and fit for the future."

Now the boxed chocolate Black Magic range will be moved to Czech Republic while Dairy Box will be produced from Spain and Smarties from Germany.

Nestlé said in a statement that it would cut back on the workforce at the Rowntree plant sometime next year and aimed to make at least half of the job losses through voluntary redundancy or early retirement.

The sweet maker, who produce Crunch and KitKat chocolate bars, recorded a 11.4 per cent rise in net profit to €2.63bn last month.

And sales in the company's chocolate, confectionery and biscuits sector, which accounts for around 12 per cent of Nestlé's overall business, rose 3.5 per cent to €3.13bn.

But, at the time of announcing the results, the company admitted that there was room for improvement in the UK branded confectionery sector.

Attempts to enliven the KitKat brand with new flavours such as Strawberries and Cream and Peanut Butter met with a disappointing response earlier in the year.

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