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April 29, 2008

CANADA/AUS: Campbell to close production sites

Campbell Soup Co., the US food group, is to close plants in Canada and Australia in a bid to further focus its business on simple meals, baked snacks and beverages.

Campbell Soup Co., the US food group, is to close plants in Canada and Australia in a bid to further focus its business on simple meals, baked snacks and beverages.

The company plans to shut a frozen food facility in Canada and close a site in Australia producing private-label biscuits and industrial chocolate. The closures will lead to the loss of around 650 jobs.

Campbell, which last year sold off upmarket chocolate business Godiva, also plans to offload its snack food business in Australia.

The company said it had struck a deal with a group of local investors, including management at Australian snack firm The Real McCoy, for the business, including two production plants and a handful of brands.

President and CEO Doug Conant said Campbell had a “relentless focus” on simple meals, baked snacks and healthy drinks.

Conant added: “The actions announced today will continue to position Campbell as a high-performing focused food company.”

The closure of the frozen food plant in Ontario, Canada will take place in a year. Campbell will run the site until then and transfer production to contract manufacturers throughout North America.

Elsewhere, Campbell also plans to streamline its international management team, although it gave no further details.

In New York, Campbell shares closed down yesterday (28 April) 0.35% at US$34.54.

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