Finnish food group Raisio is to cut jobs in its domestic market as reshapes the business to lower costs and make it more efficient.

The company said the streamlining would affect 56 staff. Raisio's domestic consumer foods business will have its sales and marketing departments combined, while production will be "adjusted". Talks on how production will be affected are ongoing, Raisio said.

Raisio, which operates an agribusiness in Finland alongside its consumer foods arm, will also lower its production of feed.

The restructuring will boost profits by EUR4m (US$5.2m) a year, the company said today (29 November).

The changes are the latest organisation changes at Raisio. In August, Raisio established two branded divisions, which will run its consumer and licensed products. Raisio's consumer brands include Honey Monster cereal and Fox's confectionery. Its licensed business is, at present, Benecol, on which it works with partners around the world.

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Raisio’s cooperation negotiations ended

Raisio plc, Stock Exchange Release, 28 November 2012

RAISIO’S COOPERATION NEGOTIATIONS ENDED

Raisio is improving profitability by adjusting its Finnish operations to the current market situation. In addition to improved profitability, the company can also ensure long-term competitiveness with lighter cost structure and more efficient operations model.

Improved profitability through cost savings 

Raisio has concluded most of the cooperation negotiations initiated in October. With the now realising cost savings and restructuring of operations, Raisio expects to improve its profitability by more than EUR 4 million.

The cooperation negotiations concerned Finnish food operations, feed protein business and the Group’s support functions. During the negotiations, the reduction need was confirmed to be a total of 56 persons, which means 40 employees made redundant. Other staff reductions will take place through natural attrition. The reductions concern all personnel groups.

Feed protein business more flexible through investments

Feed protein business performance will be improved by adjusting production to better meet the availability of Finnish rapeseed. Finnish oil plant cultivation covers clearly less than half of the Finnish oil plant industry’s needs. By reduced production, the company can also avoid unprofitable exports of rapeseed oil, a process by-product crushed from imported seed. The company’s diminishing meal production will be replaced by imports. Raisio will make investments in order to increase flexibility and efficiency in the Raisio-based feed protein factory. During periodic production shutdowns, personnel are provided with other process functions in Raisio’s industrial area, for example in the production of seasonal fish feeds.

Improved competitiveness for Finnish food operations

As a result of the cooperation negotiations, the operations model and organisation of Finnish food operations will be streamlined. Sales and marketing organisations will be combined into a single commercial organisation and the resources of supply chain, production and product development will be adjusted to match the levels of current business. Part of the cooperation negotiations is still continuing to identify alternatives and to adjust production capacity to the market conditions.

Furthermore, the operations of Ateriamestarit Oy, a joint venture of Raisio and Lännen Tehtaat, will be closed down at the end of 2012. Sales of catering products will be transferred to Raisio’s own organisation as of 1 January 2013. In Sweden, Raisio will replace its own organisation by a distributor cooperation model and in the Baltic Countries, operations will be centralised primarily to Estonia.

Original source: Raisio