UK convenience food group Uniq has said it will cut more than 700 jobs, close two manufacturing facilities in the UK and transfer some production from Germany to Poland.

The company, which said yesterday [Monday] that it expects “extremely challenging” times ahead, is attempting to cut costs amid tough market conditions.

Uniq said the job cuts and transfers will result in cost savings of around £14m (US$25.2m) per year by 2006/07, reported Reuters.

“The year ahead is going to be tough in the UK. In France we have got a strong performance which we expect to hold,” chief executive Bill Ronald told Reuters. “We are going to be working hard to keep the cost base under control.”

Uniq plans to close the Evercreech and Newton Abbot factories in the UK over the next two years. The company also plans to expand its fish processing plant in Poznan, Poland as it transfers some production to there from its plant in Bremerhaven, Germany.