Imperial Tobacco to shut cigarette factories in England and France as company grapples with declining sales in Europe; up to 900 jobs could be cut

BRISTOL, England , April 15, 2014 (press release) – Imperial Tobacco Group has announced a number of European restructuring projects to strengthen the Group’s competitive position.

The projects are planned to be implemented progressively over the next two years and include the proposed closure of cigarette factories in Nottingham, UK and Nantes, France.

The proposed closures reflect declining industry volumes in Europe, impacted by tough economic conditions, increasing regulation and excise and growth in illicit trade. Production has been affected at the Nottingham and Nantes sites, which now utilise less than half their manufacturing capacity.

The projects could reduce the Group’s workforce by 900. Employees, works councils and trade unions have been informed and consultation processes are now underway. A comprehensive range of measures to support employees will be discussed as part of the consultations.

Alison Cooper, Chief Executive, said: “These projects are an essential part of securing the sustainable future of the business. The prospect of job losses is always regrettable and we will be doing all we can to support employees and ensure that they are treated in a fair and responsible manner.”

The proposed projects support the Group’s cost optimisation programme, which will deliver savings of £300 million a year from September 2018.

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