The end of some manufacturing contracts next month looks set to hit jobs at Findus Group’s UK operations, the frozen food group has said.

The company, which owns seafood brands Findus and Young’s, has begun talks with staff over proposals that could lead to the loss of 84 jobs at its Humberstone Road factory in Grimsby.

Operations director Steve Lidgett said the cuts were needed to keep the business competitive.

“Economic conditions continue to be tough and we expect some of our manufacturing contracts to end in February. We regret the need for today’s proposals but do believe they are required if we are to maintain our competitive edge,” Lidgett said.

Before Christmas, it emerged that Findus Group had struck a deal with its lenders to give it more breathing space amid volatile commodity costs and fluctuating currencies. The deal was understood to have lasted until the end of December but officials at Findus Group could not be reached to comment on the details of any fresh agreement, as just-food went to press.

The jobs that could be affected at Humberstone Road could hit staff in production, operations and management. Humberstone Road makes the Young’s Chip Shop range, private-label products and is the largest UK manufacturer of fish fingers. The fish finger plant will be unaffected, Findus Group said.

The company has three production sites in Grimsby, including Humberstone Road, and employs 1,700 staff across the town.

Findus Group has recently re-jigged its UK business, with a marketing team covering the Young’s business joining the Findus brand team in London. Some 20 jobs were affected by that move. Commenting on the possible redundancies at Humberstone Road, the company said it “remains committed” to Grimsby being its “key manufacturing and NPD centre of excellence”.