High Liner Foods to close leased site in US

High Liner Foods to close leased site in US

Canada-based frozen seafood group High Liner Foods will end production at a leased facility in the US as it looks to reduce its "excess capacity" in the country.

High Liner Foods said output would end at the site in Malden in Massachusetts in the second quarter of the year. The lease at the factory ends in December.

Keith Decker, High Liner's president and COO, said 50 full-time staff worked at the plant. He said "some would move directly to positions at other facilities". Others will be able to apply for "open or new positions" at sites in New Bedford, 79 miles further south, or Portsmouth in New Hampshire, 50 miles north.

"High Liner Foods has been operating this facility since acquiring Viking Seafoods in 2010 and we were extremely fortunate to have inherited such a dedicated and hard working team of employees," Decker said. "While the decision to cease production at one of our facilities has been difficult, it is necessary to ensure High Liner Foods' continued ability to grow and compete in a highly-competitive and price-sensitive market place."

High Liner said the plant was its "most under-utilised" site. Some 11.5m pounds of production will move to the New Bedford and Portsmouth plants. The company has one other facility in the US in Newport News in Virginia. It also has one plant in Canada, located in Lunenburg in Nova Scotia.

The company said it would record an after-tax charge of US$800,000 to write down equipment at the plant. There will also be after-tax cash costs of around $300,000 related to the closure. It expects an annual, pre-tax fall in operating costs of around $3m.