Saputo to close Canadian cheese plant in domestic efficiency drive

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Saputo to close Canadian cheese plant in domestic efficiency drive

Related tags: Fiscal year

Canadian dairy giant Saputo has announced plans to close a cheese manufacturing plant in Quebec – a decision aimed at improving the efficiency of its operations in the country.

Late last week, the dairy processor revealed plans to close its manufacturing facility in Warwick, Quebec. According to the company, around 100 jobs at the plant will be affected by the closure, which Saputo has scheduled for June 2014.

“Saputo Inc. announces today measures aimed at improving its operational efficiency,”​ said a statement issued by Saputo. “Such decisions are part of the Company’s continual analysis of its overall activities.”

“Production will be integrated into other facilities in the province of Quebec,”​ said the company.

Improving operational efficiency…

The announcement is the second of its kind in Canada by Saputo in the last six months. In November 2012, Saputo informed the 40 employees of its Winkler, Manitoba facility that the plant would close. The closure is scheduled for January 2014.

Costs associated with the closures will amount to around CAD$7m after taxes, said Saputo. The company also expects to realise annual savings of around $6m from fiscal year (FY) 2015 as a result.

“Over the last year, Saputo has maintained efforts to pursue additional efficiencies and decrease costs while strengthening its market presence,”​ said Saputo.

In relation to these rationalisations, the Company intends to add approximately $36m in new fixed assets in other Saputo facilities, mainly over the course of fiscal 2014,”​ the company added.

European pull-out…

Last week’s announcement comes less than a month after Saputo revealed plans to pull the plug on its European operations after just seven years on the continent.

In February 2013, Saputo announced the closure of its cheese manufacturing facility in Heiden, Germany and beginning of a 30-day consultation period regarding the closure of its cheese manufacturing plant in Newcastle Emlyn in Wales.

Saputo cited a lack of “short to mid-term opportunities”​ to ensure profitability as the reason behind the decision.

Around 140 jobs will be affected by the European pull-out, Saputo claimed.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Cheese

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