Unilever-owned French condiments maker Amora-Maille will close three production sites by the end of 2009, with the loss of 265 jobs.

Production will be grouped at the company's Chevigny-Saint-Sauveur plant where EUR10m (US$12.6m) is being invested and the workforce increased.

"Since 2003, the French condiments market has been in decline… Amora-Maille specifically has struggled during this period with sales sliding by almost 20% to the benefit of… own brands whose sales have increased by 23% between 2001 and 2007," the company explained.

Amora-Maille's marketing teams will be relocated at Unilever's France's HQ in Paris while R&D activities for the European market will be transferred to the Netherlands.  

Unilever France is planning to locate a new food logistics hub in Fauverney, near Dijon, creating of between 250 and 300 jobs of which 150 would be reserved for Amora-Maille staff.