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McBride to cut 400 jobs

McBride, the maker of own-label household cleaning and toiletry products, is to cut a quarter of its UK jobs amid the impact of supermarket price wars.

The Manchester-based firm today began consultations over 400 of its 1,600 posts at factories in Hull, Barrow, Bradford and Middleton in Great Manchester.

The firm, whose clients include Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, said its sales will be 3% lower this year as rival makers of branded goods have cut prices to attract customers as part of supermarket price wars.

The planned move is expected to save the business, which makes everything from toothpastes to toilet cleaners, £12 million by June 2016, though it expects the job losses to result in a one-off cost of £14 million.

Chief executive Chris Bull said: "We are announcing a robust plan that will help restore our UK profitability. We will be entering into full and meaningful consultation with colleagues affected by these proposals."

McBride said none of its four UK sites would close completely, although its Hull and Barrow factories are expected to be the most heavily affected.

The Hull site currently makes household liquid and aerosol products, while the Barrow plant makes laundry powders and tablets as well as dishwasher products.

The group employs around 5,000 staff at 17 plants across Europe, China and Vietnam, but there are no plans to transfer the jobs overseas.

The business said the growth it had seen in France, Poland, Germany and the Benelux countries was offset by a weak retail environment in the UK and Italy due to "continued and increased branded promotional activity."

The firm added that its contract revenues fell 20% during the year, due to the winding down of existing deals.

Analysts at Investec expect McBride to post full year revenues of £744.7 million this year, compared to £761.4 million a year ago. It also expects pre-tax profit to fall to £17 million, from £19.1 million 12 months ago.

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