Premier Foods to cut 600 jobs six months after selling Fenland factories to Princes

PREMIER Foods announced today it will cut 600 jobs from its workforce as part of plans to “restore profitable growth”. It comes six months after the company sold its canning factories in Wisbech and Long Sutton to rival food brand Princes for �182million.

About five per cent of Premier’s 12,000 employees will lose their jobs as the company looks for savings of more than �40million by 2013.

In October the company stated that its original target of �20million of savings would be exceeded by 2013, so doubled the original target “creating a stronger and more efficient business that will help release funds to invest behind driving its recovery and growth plans”.

A spokesman said today: “To achieve this target, every aspect of the company’s costs is being reviewed.

“It is expected that a series of cost saving programmes will be initiated throughout the year that will result in reductions in the workforce, mainly from overhead functions.

“These reductions, which will be subject to appropriate consultations, are expected to amount to approximately five per cent of the company’s current workforce of around 12,000 employees.”

Michael Clarke, Premier chief executive, said: “We continue to deliver on our plans to stabilise the business and invest in our recovery and future growth.

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“While decisions to reduce the workforce are always difficult, I’m convinced we are taking the right steps in the long term interests of the business, employees and our stakeholders.”

Premier Foods produces a number of well-known brands including Hovis, Ambrosia, Mr Kipling, Bisto, Oxo and Batchelors.