County Durham-headquartered Intersnack sees headcount fall 7%

Losses shortened at Tanfield-headquartered firm Intersnack after it withdrew from loss-making products

The KP Snacks factory at Billingham
The KP Snacks factory at Billingham

Employee numbers dropped by 7% last year as Pom Bear maker Intersnack withdrew from loss-making products to focus on profitability, accounts show.

The Tanfield-headquartered firm, which makes and distributes a range of savoury snacks, said turnover dropped by 17% in 2013, from £80.1m to £66.8m, as a result of a strategic decision to focus on profitability.

The move led to the firm almost halving the previous year’s losses £2.3m a year, and gross profit rose 24% to £8.6m before removing selling and administrative expenses and exceptional items, mainly thanks to strong sales for its Pom Bear range.

The company’s strategic report details how headcount decreased by 7% across the firm, from 385 to 357 “due to more efficient production planning and withdrawal from certain lines” – lines which included those in the nuts category.

In 2012 the firm’s parent company Intersnack Group acquired KP Snacks in a deal believed to have been worth around £500m, and last year saw the start of the integration between KP and Intersnack which has recently made headlines.

The firm details the integration which was designed to “enhance efficiency, customer service levels and ensure the ongoing strength and sustainability of the overall business”.

The strategic report said: “As a result of a review of the parent group footprint and the production facilities within the UK, a proposal was made on November 23 2013 to close the Haverhill site in the second half of 2014.

“This resulted in impairment of some Haverhill assets, and provision for redundancy costs of a combined £2.24m.

“The directors’ strategy is to continue the integration with KP Snacks Limited and to realise the benefits created therein.

“The close of the Haverill site will result in the nuts activity transferring to the KP Snacks Limited production site.

“On September 4 2014 a proposal was made to also close the Corby manufacturing facility and transfer production of the Pom Bear product line to the KP Snacks Limited plant in Teesside, and the pellet frying and mixes to the company’s Tanfield site.”

As well as closing Intersnack’s site in Haverill, Suffolk, the integration plans put a total of 186 jobs at risk at KP sites in County Durham and the Corby site, and the 45-day consultation period is ongoing.

The directors’ report concluded: “The directors would like to record their appreciation of the efforts and continued commitment of all the company’s staff at each of its sites during a period of significant change in the business.

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