Bury St Edmunds: Camera equipment maker Vitec announces plans to transfer work to Costa Rica

Units 2 and 3 Western Way, Bury St Edmunds

Units 2 and 3 Western Way, Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

A camera equipment manufacturer is set to transfer some of its assembly work from its Bury St Edmunds factory to its site in Costa Rica.

A Vinten tripod supporting a TV camera

A Vinten tripod supporting a TV camera - Credit: Archant

A camera equipment manufacturer is set to transfer some of its assembly work from its Bury St Edmunds factory to its site in Costa Rica.

Vitec Videocom, which employs around 220 staff at Bury, cited the challenging economic climate and says it is now entering a period of consultation with staff.

It would not say how many jobs it planned to shed, but said transfers would take up to 12 months to complete.

“No further details on numbers are available at this time,” it said.


You may also want to watch:


It added: “Not all of the Bury manufactured products would be transferred. The company is considering transferring the Vision, Vector (tripod) ranges and O’Connor (head), along with all accessories to its Costa Rican site.

“Robotic equipment, manual pedestals and Q Ball will remain in the UK, and there are no plans to move these products. It is anticipated these will remain in the UK in the long term.”

Most Read

Vitec wants to streamline its operations and re-organise the company’s engineering and design resources.

Towards the end of last year, production hours were dramatically reduced and some staff put on three and four-day weeks with the plant closing early for Christmas week.

Bosses at the plant cited a “sharp downturn” in the demand for the more expensive, complex products - like equipment for television studios - all of which are made at the Western Way site.

Paul Watson, general manager of camera support and accessories, said: “These planned actions are against the background of a challenging economic climate and they are intended to better shape the business for the future.

“The company will now enter into a period of consultation with its employees before any changes take place. These transfers are anticipated to take up to 12 months to complete and the company will ensure every support is given to any potentially affected employees.”

The move forms part of a wider re-organisation and consolidation of the business which the Vitec Group announced as it published its final results for 2012 at the end of last month.

It said it had increased its profits before tax by 9.7% to take them to £36.2million and improved its margins, although it had suffered a 1.2% drop in revenues to £345.3m.

Stephen Bird, Group Chief Executive, said: “Against the background of a challenging economic environment and our limited order visibility, Vitec has decided to take appropriate actions to streamline certain operations, including a further shift to areas of lower cost manufacturing.

“These actions better position Vitec for the future and the Board remains confident about the prospects for the group.”

He added: “Our core Broadcast business has performed well, benefitting from the acquisition of Camera Corps and its strong performance in the London 2012 Olympics. In the Photographic market, we achieved good growth in sales of our Manfrotto Powerbrand product range. Haigh-Farr performed strongly despite the MAG market remaining challenging with key US government agencies experiencing budget constraints.”

W Vinten was founded in 1910, and floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1972. As a consequence of the expansion of the group through various acquisitions, the company was renamed Vitec Group plc in 1995 and eventually to The Vitec Group plc in 2001.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus