Friesland Foods has outlined plans to focus its Central European production of fresh dairy products in Debrecen, Hungary, including subsequent job losses.

As a result of the centralisation, the production location in Gyöngyös, Hungary, will be closed in January 2007 and talks on the sale of the production location in Nagybánhegyes, Hungary, are in progress with a third party, the company said.

The concentration of production and the transfer of activities will lead to the loss of 154 jobs at the two production locations, while 75 new jobs will be created in Debrecen.

Friesland said it will invest EUR10m (US$13.3m) in capacity expansion and modernisation at the Debrecen location, in order to improve efficiency, respond to growing demand and further improve logistics.

In addition, part of the company's production at Nitra, Slovakia, will also be transferred to Debrecen, leading to the loss of at least 160 jobs, and talks are being conducted with a third party on the acquisition of the production location and the sales activities in the country.

Friesland said that as it holds a modest market position in Slovakia, which is not expected to improve with the available resources, a decision has been made to discontinue its activities there.