Diageo has confirmed that it will temporarily close one of its facilities in Scotland later this month, as a result of the economic downturn.

The company confirmed to just-drinks today (3 March) that its packaging site in Kilmarnock, which handles the Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky brand, will close for one week this month and one week in April.

The closure is a consequence of the "current economic downturn and in line with our update on performance and outlook issued in February", Diageo said.

"All employees have been fully briefed and employees at the site have the option to take paid leave, unpaid leave or banked hours for the week in March and for the week in April employees will be required to take annual leave," the company added.

"We will continue to work closely with employee representatives and communicate regularly with our employees during these difficult times."

Last month, Diageo confirmed it was considering cutting jobs as part of a cost savings programme designed to save up to GBP100m (US$142m) annually.

The company, which at the same time reported 18% rises in net sales and profit for the second half of 2008, said it plans to implement the cost savings programme in its fiscal second half 2009.