PepsiCo says is considering closure of County Durham Walkers factory, putting 380 jobs at risk

The company has recently endured a challenging period and last month it forecast that 2017 adjusted earnings would be below analysts’ estimates

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Global multinational food and drinks company PepsiCo is considering shutting its Walkers snacks factory in Peterlee, County Durham, potentially putting 380 jobs at risk and dealing a heavy blow to the region.

The company, which in addition to Pepsi and Walkers crisps also makes Gatorade and Doritos tortilla chips, said in a statement that it is considering the move to “improve the efficiency of our UK snacks manufacturing operations”.

“Peterlee has been an important site for our business but the changes we are proposing present significant productivity and efficiency savings crucial for ensuring the long-term sustainable growth of our business in the UK,” said Tracey Foster, PepsiCo UK’s manufacturing director at the Peterlee plant. 

She said that the company appreciates that this is “upsetting news for everyone at the Peterlee site” but added that “no decisions will be made without first consulting employees and their representatives”.

PepsiCo has recently endured a challenging period and last month it forecast that 2017 adjusted earnings would be below analysts’ estimates, citing weakness in its international markets, particularly in developing regions such as Asia, Middle East and North Africa.

It said at the time that it expected organic sales growth of 3 per cent this year, slower than the 3.6 per cent in 2016, according to Reuters. 

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