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Imperial Tobacco to close some of its factories

The Imperial Tobacco Group is suggesting closing its cigarette factories in Nottingham, UK, and Nantes, France.

The suggested closures are element of a variety of 'European restructuring projects' that could see 900 jobs shortened.

Imperial said the tasks, which are intended to be 'carried out little by little' throughout the next 24 months, were targeted at improving its competitive position.

The suggested closures mirrored suffering industry volumes in Europe, affected by difficult financial problems, increasing regulation and excise, and the growth in illegal trade.

Imperial Tobacco factory in Nantes

Manufacturing had been impacted at the Nottingham and Nantes places, which now operated less than half their production volume.

The tasks could decrease the company's labor force by 900. Workers, works councils and trade unions had been acknowledged and meeting processes were now ongoing. A complete quantity of steps to maintain workers would be reviewed as part of the discussions.

"These tasks are an important part of holding the maintainable future of the business," said Alison Cooper, chief executive. "The prospect of job losses is always disappointing and the company will be doing all it can to help staff members and guarantee that they are treated in an honest and trustworthy manner."

The suggested tasks were said to help the Imperial Tobacco's cost optimization program, which is supposed to provide savings of £300 million per year from September 2018.

The last cigarette plant in Great Britain is intended to be closed. Imperial Tobacco is closing its Nottingham factory, along with its largest Gauloises-producing plant in France, at Nantes. The two closures put almost 1,000 jobs at threat.

Unite, Britain's biggest union, brought an accusation against Imperial Tobacco of "social dumping" and shipping production to low-cost eastern Europe, and promised to struggle the planned closures along with its sister French unions.

The company, which is the manufacturer of Davidoff cigarettes as well, has 540 employees in its plant and distribution centre in Nottingham, where it produces Lambert & Butler, Embassy, Regal, Superkings (known as John Player) and JPS. The only plant in the UK will be run by Japan Tobacco International in Northern Ireland.

Imperial Tobacco, which possesses 46 factories and 35,000 employees around the world, employs 320 people at its Nantes factory. Another 120 jobs could be lost by the closure of its Bergerac research center, even though 80 new jobs could also be created.