Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Nestle SA plans to eliminate about 300 positions at its U.K. confectionery factories and move the chocolate-wafer biscuit brand Blue Riband’s production to Poland as the world’s largest food company implements efficiency measures.

Most of the cuts will occur at the York and Fawdon factories in northern England this year and next, the Vevey, Switzerland-based company said in a statement Tuesday. The other two sites affected are located in the English town of Halifax and Girvan in Scotland. The maker of KitKat chocolate said it expects the reductions to be achieved through voluntary departures.

Nestle has been working on measures to reduce costs in Europe, the Middle East and Mediterranean markets through 2019. In February, the company said restructuring costs will rise to about 500 million francs ($502 million) in 2017. Chief Financial Officer Francois-Xavier Roger told Bloomberg News that half of the savings Nestle targets by 2020 will come through streamlining production at its network of more than 300 factories.

Production of Blue Riband, which was introduced in 1936, will be transferred to a factory in Poland, which is specialized in producing the particular wafers used in the biscuit, a Nestle spokeswoman said. The move isn’t Brexit-related, she said.

In January, Les Echos cited union representatives saying they expect hundreds of job cuts in France. Nestle reduced its total headcount by 7,000 to 328,000 last year as it folded part of its ice-cream business into a joint venture.

The proposals announced on Tuesday are subject to a 45-day consultation period with trade unions and employee representatives.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at epfanner1@bloomberg.net, Paul Jarvis

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