US meat processor Tyson Foods has announced that it is to close facilities in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Augusta, Maine in early February 2004, in order to further improve long-term manufacturing efficiencies.

Tyson said that it had determined that the amount of capital required to bring the Manchester facility to a competitive level and to maintain appropriate food safety standards would be better spent on production in newer, more modern facilities.

The majority of the facility’s production, which is primarily sandwich meat for foodservice customers, will be moved to facilities in Iowa, Texas, Tennessee and Illinois. The Manchester plant employs around 550 people.

The majority of the production of the Augusta plant will be consolidated into the company’s facilities in Buffalo, New York, and Concordia, Missouri. The Augusta facility, which employs approximately 170, produces hot dogs, sausages, boneless hams and deli turkey products. 

The company expects to take pre-tax charges to earnings associated with these closures of $23m-27m in the first half of its fiscal year ending October 2004. 

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