Jarvis Porter to close plants in pounds 7.5m shake-up

JARVIS PORTER, the Leeds-based label and printing company, announced a restructuring programme costing pounds 7.5m over a 12-month period, writes Clifford German.

It will include the closure of several operations in the UK and Europe with the loss of 320 jobs, about 20 per cent of the labour force.

No details of the closures or redundancies were revealed yesterday while workers in the plants affected were being told the news, but operations in Leeds, Glasgow, Nottingham and Leicester could be affected.

The company also issued a profit warning, blaming poor trading conditions especially in the drinks and beverages division which prints labels for up-market drinks bottles.

Sales have been badly affected by the economic downturn in Asia, destocking in the drinks trade as a result of the merger of Grand Met and Diageo and, until recently, the strength of sterling.

Pre-tax profits for the year which ends next week will be around pounds 5m before exceptional costs.

But it is not yet clear how much of the costs of the restructuring programme will be taken in the current year.

The shares, which had staged a slight recovery in recent weeks after falling 60 per cent between March and December last year, fell 10p to 93.5p yesterday.