Imperial Tobacco announces manufacturing restructuring and logistics plans

9 October, 2001

Imperial Tobacco has today announced a planned restructuring of its manufacturing and supply chain operations. These measures are designed to keep the Group's high quality, low cost production base at the forefront of efficiency and to support its growing international business while maintaining first class customer service.

The planned changes are:

  • Relocation of the John Player & Sons cigarette factory in Dublin, Ireland to a new purpose built manufacturing facility in West Dublin, with tobacco supplied from the recently acquired Tobaccor plant in Dunkirk, France;
  • Creation of Centres of Excellence in cigarette paper and tubes manufacture by focusing production on single product sites in Belgium, Wales, Germany and Canada;
  • Intended closure of the cigarette paper and booklet factory in Mazères, France;
  • Planned closure of the Cadena cigar operations in Tallow, Ireland and Bladel in The Netherlands and as a result concentrating all cigar manufacturing in Bristol;
  • Amalgamation of Roll Your Own and Pipe Tobacco Divisions to form a new Cut Tobacco Division;
  • Formation of a new Logistics and Planning Division responsible for worldwide product distribution from factory to market, business planning, supply chain analysis and information systems.

The intended changes are due to be introduced progressively over the next 18 months.

It is anticipated that the Group will recoup the total intended capital and revenue investment of around £16m within two years.

Details of the Group's intentions, which will result in the loss of around 200 jobs overall, are currently being announced to employees and there will follow a period of consultation in accordance with the various Divisional arrangements.

The Group will put in place Social Plans to support employees who are affected by these changes and these will include arrangements for securing, wherever possible, suitable alternative employment.

Gareth Davis, Chief Executive said:

"This restructuring is a further step in our plans to continue growing a sustainable, international business through maintaining the competitive advantage of our high quality, efficient manufacturing and logistics operation. We now have operations and offices in 40 countries worldwide and these planned changes will leave us well placed to cope with our growing geographic presence and multi-product portfolio while maintaining first class customer service.

"We very much regret the need to close the Cadena cigar operation and the cigarette paper and booklet factory in France and we will look at opportunities for re-deployment, where feasible, at other Imperial Tobacco sites."

For further information please contact:

Alex Parsons, Group Media Relations Manager: + 44 (0) 117 963 6636

Notes for Editors:

  1. Imperial Tobacco Group PLC is an integrated international tobacco company which markets and sells a range of cigarettes, cigars, roll your own and pipe tobaccos, snuff, cigarette papers and tubes in some 110 markets worldwide.

  2. In the four years since demerger in 1996 to 2000 the Group has recorded 11% compound growth in operating profit while the International Division has achieved a 36% compound growth in operating profit.

  3. Imperial Tobacco is the UK's leading tobacco company and has the best-selling brand in the UK in each of four product categories:
    • Lambert & Butler (cigarettes)
    • Golden Virginia (roll your own tobacco)
    • St Bruno (pipe tobacco)
    • Rizla (cigarette papers)

  4. Imperial Tobacco is the world leader in the roll your own tobacco market with Drum, Van Nelle and Golden Virginia and in the cigarette papers market with Rizla.

  5. The Group employs 7,500 people worldwide, of whom 70% are based outside the UK.