Italian confectionery giant Ferrero could begin production in the UK in the next two or three years.

UK managing director Christian Walter said Ferrero had yet to make a definitive decision on whether to set up production but said the company was conscious of the costs of importing products from Europe.

“There are no set plans for UK production, it’s two or three years down the road,” he said. However, he added: “We want to be closer to to consumers because of transport costs, it’s an important factor.”

Walter said whether Ferrero started manufacturing in the UK depended on its sales in the market. “We need more volume. We will start production once we have the volume which makes local production sensible.”

The tentative nature of the plans meant Walter could not comment on where production would take place in the UK or how many people would be employed.

In January, the Italian confectionery giant, which produces brands like Tic Tac, Ferrero Rocher and Kinder, announced it is looking to double its sales in the UK over the next five years to GBP400m (US$640m).

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Around 60% of Ferrero’s employees are in the “historic” Ferrero countries, such as Italy, France, Germany and Belgium, rising to 75% when all of Europe is taken into consideration. The company has approximately 22,000 employees in the 40 countries in which it operates directly and in the 18 factories which manufacture products for over 100 different markets.