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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  A.G. Barr plc    BAG   GB00B6XZKY75

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Britvic cuts 240 jobs in Norwich closure, Unilever could follow

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10/03/2017 | 02:41pm CET
FILE PHOTO - Bottles soft drinks made by drinks company Britvic sit on a conveyor belt at  Britvic's bottling plant in London

Britain's Britvic Plc (>> Britvic Plc) announced the closure of its Norwich factory on Tuesday, putting 240 jobs at risk and prompting fellow consumer goods producer Unilever to warn it might follow suite with a neighbouring plant.

Britain's Britvic Plc (>> Britvic Plc) announced the closure of its Norwich factory on Tuesday, putting 240 jobs at risk and prompting fellow consumer goods producer Unilever to warn it might follow suite with a neighbouring plant.

Britvic said it would transfer the production of its Robinsons and Fruit Shoot brands from the Norwich site, which is co-owned with Unilever (>> Unilever), to plants in East London, Leeds and Rugby.

Unilever, which makes famous English mustard brand Colman's on the same site in Norwich, said it was launching a review of its production at the plant, with options including closure.

Britvic cast the decision to close the site as part of a 3-year, 240-million-pound restructuring programme the company began in 2015 to reorganise their British operations.

"We know this is upsetting news," chief executive Simon Litherland said. "However the changes we are proposing today present significant productivity and efficiency savings in our manufacturing operations."

Consumer demand in Britain has borne the brunt of a rise in inflation to its highest in nearly five years, largely due to the pound's tumble since last year's vote to leave the European Union.

The weaker pound has also pushed up costs for manufacturers who import ingredients, leading some companies to raise prices, sell key businesses or move manufacturing facilities out of Britain.

The regular PMI survey of manufacturing sentiment on Monday showed a slowdown in growth that overall has remained solid.

Trade union Unite, which expressed "concern for the future of Colman's Mustard brand", said Unilever is expected to conclude its review by the end of November.

Britvic said their plant will close by the end of 2019.

The company, which also makes J2O and Tango drinks, said the proposed closure would not affect its financial forecast. The job cuts also come at a time when the company and its rivals including A.G.Barr (>> A.G. Barr plc) face an impending British government tax on sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks.

(Additional reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain, editing by Louise Heavens, Jason Neely and Patrick Graham)

By Radhika Rukmangadhan

Stocks treated in this article : Unilever (NL), Unilever, Britvic Plc, A.G. Barr plc
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Financials ( GBP)
Sales 2018 271 M
EBIT 2018 44,3 M
Net income 2018 35,9 M
Finance 2018 9,13 M
Yield 2018 2,35%
P/E ratio 2018 20,62
P/E ratio 2019 19,65
EV / Sales 2018 2,69x
EV / Sales 2019 2,61x
Capitalization 739 M
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Number of Analysts 7
Average target price 6,13  GBP
Spread / Average Target -4,1%
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NameTitle
Roger Alexander White Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
John Ross Nicolson Non-Executive Chairman
Stuart Lorimer Finance Director & Executive Director
Andrew Lewis Memmott Executive Director & Supply Chain Director
William Robin Graham Barr Non-Executive Director
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