66 jobs to go as Victoria looks to end Kidderminster production
Victoria Carpets is to end carpet production at Kidderminster as part of a manufacturing reorganisation designed to improve efficiency and margins ‘due to rapid growth and continued significant demand for its products.’
Some 66 staff are set to be made redundant.
Earlier this month Brintons said it would end Axminster production at its Kidderminster site, with the loss of 60 jobs.
Philippe Hamers, Victoria Group ceo has reviewed the group’s manufacturing facilities and decided that moving production from Kidderminster to its other facilities will increase production capacity and profitability.
The move will; ‘rationalise the group's manufacturing operations to drive further incremental margin uplift and optimise asset utilisation and positively impact manufacturing efficiency to provide significant - and much needed - additional capacity without material capital expenditure’.
Its Midlands distribution centre is to be closed and warehousing moved to Kidderminster. The Kidderminster site will continue to house the head office, product development and showroom.
A new distribution centre will open to the north-west of London by late 2018 to service the south of the UK, followed by a centre in the north-east of England.
‘The successful growth of Victoria has enabled the group to reassess how best to utilise its manufacturing and logistics capabilities. By re-organising our manufacturing and logistics operations, we will continue to grow Victoria's
earnings per share and free cash flow,’ said Geoff Wilding, Victoria executive chairman.
‘We have done this before, of course. Shareholders will no doubt recall our manufacturing rationalisation in Australia in 2014, which was highly successful with resultant revenue growth and improvement in margins that have been very pleasing. Additionally, we remain confident that further significant earnings-accretive acquisition growth, in addition to underlying organic development, can be achieved to create further shareholder value.’
Gavin Miller, regional secretary at the Community Trade Union said he would be seeking urgent talks with Victoria. ‘This news comes as another devastating blow to Community members and was unexpected. We will be seeking urgent talks with management to address the announcement, our aim is to preserve as many jobs as possible and I would call on the company to make a commitment to honour voluntary redundancy applications at the end of this process. This, coupled with the terrible news from Brintons, has damaged Kidderminster’s reputation as a carpet making town.’
Victoria also said current trading was positive. ‘The group continues to trade well. Completion of the integration of recent acquisitions in the UK, the Netherlands, and Australia, has ensured that the group's underlying profits before tax will be well ahead of last year and the board is confident of meeting market expectations for the financial year ending 31 March 2018.
‘The board believes Victoria is well placed for further growth given its expanding internatonal operations, which now represent over a third of the business. In addition, reshaping the group will achieve meaningful cost and margin synergies, freeing up capital for further domestic and international earnings enhancing acquisitions.’