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Tyson Foods has launched another expansion project with a US$180m investment in the US meat giant’s prepared-foods facility in Illinois.

The Caseyville site, which manufactures the Hillshire Farm and Jimmy Dean brands, will undergo a 170,000 square-foot expansion to accommodate a production increase for “grab-n-go snacking and breakfast items”, with automation a key theme.

Tyson Foods said the project will create 250 jobs, with the first new production line due to be up and running in the autumn. Most of the expansion work is set to be completed by next summer.

Noelle O’Mara, the group president of prepared foods at the Arkansas-headquartered business, said: “We’re thrilled to celebrate the expansion of our Caseyville prepared-foods plant, creating new job opportunities for those in the community and keeping ease and efficiency in mind for our current team members.

“With automated warehousing and robotics at the heart of the project, we’re looking forward to its full completion.”

Automation was also at the heart of another expansion announced last month for Tyson Foods’ fresh chicken processing plant in Forest, Scott County in Mississippi state. That project entails an investment of $90m and 320 new jobs.

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By GlobalData

New York-listed Tyson Foods said the Caseyville plant employs 293 workers.

Last December, Tyson Foods revealed it planned to invest $1.3bn in automation over a three-year period through its 2024 financial year and take measures to upskill the workforce. At the time, Tyson Foods said the labour requirement would be reduced by 3,150 over the course of the programme.

The company is due to report third-quarter results on 8 August. In the first half to 2 April, sales amounted to $26.05bn, up 19.7%. Operating profit climbed 83% to $2.6bn, while net come rose to $1.96bn from $949m.

In the fiscal year to 2 October, Tyson Foods reported sales of $47.05bn, an increase of almost 9% from the previous 12 months. Operating income rose 46% to $4.4bn, while net income was up 47.8% at $3.06bn.