Friday 22 November 2019

1,230 jobs to go as Philip Morris International shuts Dutch factory

Tobacco company Philip Morris is closing its Dutch factory in Bergen op Zoom with the loss of 1,230 jobs.

The closure will take effect on October 1. Some 140 jobs will remain for marketing and sales. The company has been a major employer in the southern town since 1980 and unions said the closure is a bitter blow.

The Dutch factory produces some 75 billion Marlboro, L&M and Chesterfield cigarettes a year. Most are destined for export.

According to the Financieele Dagblad, most of the production is being shifted to Greece and Portugual and no reason has been given for the closure.

Profit

In 2012, the last year for which figures are available, the factory booked sales of €511m and net profit of €145m, an increase of 21% on 2011, the Volkskrant reports.

British American Tobacco closed its Dutch plant in Zevenaar in 2006 with the loss of 570 jobs.

On Wednesday Philip Morris said it was closing its Australian plant and switching production to South Korea. The company said it had been unable to increase exports to make up for the fall in domestic demand. Australia introduced plain packaging for cigarettes in 2012.

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