The changes will affect the company’s Kuopio plant in the south of Finland, where it produces cured meats. A statement said: “Atria will investigate the cost structure of the entire Kuopio unit, including support functions.
“Employer–employee negotiations concerning the reorganisation plans have been launched. These will affect a total of 18 people at the Kuopio production plant.”
The company, which sells to the retail trade, foodservice customers, industry and the export trade has already announced a round of major efficiencies which are expected to make costs savings of around €10m during 2012.
In January, Atria announced that, from early 2013, bovine slaughtering operation at Kuopio would be transferred to the slaughterhouse in Kauhajoki, while Atria Scandinavia also announced the centralisation of production. This included an efficiency improvement programme to streamline the manufacturing of ham products and the slicing of cold cuts, investing €4.7m in new equipment, increasing automation at its Malmö plant.
It also proposed transferring production from it Halmstad plant in southern Sweden to Malmö in order to generate annual cost savings of around €1.5m.
The company’s financial statements maintained that although “uncertainty in the global economy will continue in 2012”, sales are expected to improve on 2011’s disappointing figures, driven by the positive impact of significant new product launches and increasing demand for meat. The group’s EBIT is anticipated to rise in 2012, from €8m in 2011. Net sales for 2011 were up to €1,301.9m from €1,300.9m the previous year. However, profit before tax fell to €4.7m.