Denmark’s Espersen plans to invest in the UK seafood factory inherited as part of last year’s purchase of Iceland Seafood International’s local operations.

The site in Grimsby on the east coast of England is earmarked for “substantial investments” in a move to “improve operational efficiency”, Espersen said in a statement at the weekend.

A new cold storage system will be added at the plant, which is expected to be fully integrated into the Espersen group’s ERP software this year.

As part of the wider integration of the Grimsby plant into Espersen’s operations, the company announced in February that the site’s “commercial team” was to be merged with its sales operations in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Espersen said the move “will create a unified and efficient operational framework”.

Some 15 “positions in the production areas” at Grimsby are also now being eliminated, as “part of streamlining the operation”, Espersen said in its latest statement, adding that the affected workers have been informed of the decision.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Since obtaining the Grimsby site in a deal struck with Iceland Seafood International in August, Espersen said Glen Mathews stepped down as managing director of the plant in March and has been replaced by company veteran Stig Nielsen.

“As the new leadership at the plant and the UK sales organisation are now being followed by considerable investments into production, systems and an optimised logistic flow, Espersen demonstrates its confidence in the Grimsby plant and the company is positive that these changes, though challenging, will lead to a more resilient future and establish a sustainable and successful operation,” the Danish seafood company explained.

Approached by Just Food, Espersen declined to provide firmer details on the size of the investment, only reiterating that it will be “significant” around renovating the cold storage area and “changing the layout”, designed to “create an efficient plant”.

Of the 15 job cuts, Espersen confirmed they are in processing and include line leaders and a production manager, although no positions will be lost in terms of sales staff.

As well as the newly-acquired Grimsby plant, Espersen also has facilities in Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and Vietnam. The company mostly supplies private-label white fish and valued-added products but also has a branded component.

“These changes underscore Espersen’s commitment to the Grimsby site, its employees, and the broader UK market,” the business said in February.

“With increased investments and resources, Espersen aims to improve operational efficiency and maintain its high-quality seafood production standards as well as enhance job security.”