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Jobs blow for Greene King as costs rise

PUBLISHED: 11:40 05 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:55 05 July 2018

Greene King brewery at Bury St Edmunds Picture: ARCHANT

Greene King brewery at Bury St Edmunds Picture: ARCHANT

Up to around 50 jobs could be lost at brewer Greene King’s Bury St Edmunds headquarters as a financial squeeze hits the sector.

Large mash tuns inside the Greene King brewery. The brewing and distribution side is unaffected by the proposals Picture: GREGG BROWNLarge mash tuns inside the Greene King brewery. The brewing and distribution side is unaffected by the proposals Picture: GREGG BROWN

The pubs and brewing group, which merged operations at its Bury St Edmunds and Burton-on-Trent operations two years ago following its acquisition of Spirit in 2015, told office staff yesterday (Wednesday, July 4) of its proposed restructure.

It is understood a total of 100 administrative roles are at risk across the two sites, about 60 at Bury, and 40 at Burton, while 25 posts would be created under the plans, which are now the subject of a staff consultation. The brewing and distribution side is not affected.

The firm, which is facing increased costs, saw an 11% drop in profits to £243m when it announced its full year results in June. It is hoping to minimise job losses at the two sites, which employ around 1300 to 1400 staff in total, around of 1000 of which are based at Bury, through the newly created posts and other vacancies being created within the group.

A spokesman for Greene King said: “The industry in which we operate is facing considerable cost pressures, and we are not immune. We need to focus on supporting our pubs and believe the proposed structure will deliver a simpler, more effective way of working and at the same time reduce costs.

A rooftop view of the Greene King brewery Picture: GREGG BROWNA rooftop view of the Greene King brewery Picture: GREGG BROWN

“We are working hard to minimise the number of redundancies and are supporting any colleague who is at risk of redundancy by trying and find an alternative role in the business. This decision has not been taken lightly but is critical to ensure that Greene King is sustainable and fit for the future. We are hugely proud and passionate of our roots and heritage and are absolutely committed to Bury St Edmunds, which has been our home for 219 years.”

The pub retailer and brewer acquired Spirit Pub Company for £774m and set about integrating the functions two years ago.

It is hoping that England’s World Cup glory will boost trade, after turnover to April 29 dipped 1.8% to £2.176bn. It has appointed advisers to sell off seafood restaurant chain Loch Fyne, which now has fewer than 30 outlets.

Chief executive Rooney Anand said in June that he was expecting the trading environment “to remain challenging for some time”, although the business had made “good progress”.


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