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© BBC News 3 March 2008 Two food factories set to close


Premier Foods, the owner of brands such as Branston sauces and Ambrosia Creamed Rice, has announced plans to close two factories putting 400 jobs at risk. 

The group proposes to shut its site at King's Lynn in Norfolk by December and a factory at Ashford in Kent could close by May next year. The firm, which owns the Branston brand, is expanding some factories

The company plans to expand three other factories at Wisbech, Cambs, at Worksop, Notts, and Long Sutton, Lincs.  It said it hoped employees hit by the closures would remain with the firm.

CEO Robert Schofield said: "Our proposals are very much about growing our business and our brands, and following our £460m acquisition of Campbell's UK business in August 2006 we are determined to provide substantial marketing investment to reinvigorate brands such as OXO, Batchelors and Homepride.

"It is also clear that we have the capacity and capability to produce these products more efficiently and cost effectively by reconfiguring our manufacturing facilities."

The company said consultation with employees and their representatives will begin immediately.

© BBC News 3 March 2008

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