Altia Corp is planning job cuts to help it cope with increasingly competitive markets

Altia Corp is planning job cuts to help it cope with increasingly competitive markets

Altia Corp, the Finland-based wine and spirits firm, has announced plans to cut around a tenth of its workforce as it seeks to to boost its “long-term competitiveness”. 

The state-owned group, which operates in the Nordic and Baltic countries, said today that up to 120 “salaried and senior salaried” staff could be lost from the changes. The move is part of an “efficiency” programme which aims to save the firm EUR20m (US$26.3m) by the end of 2015.

It comes after news in May that the Finnish Government had drawn up plans for the sale of the company.

“We need to take measures to improve long-term competiveness in the face of stiff market competition and quick changes in consumer behaviour patterns,” said Pekka Tennilä, Altia's CEO, who took on the role in June. Former CEO Antti Pankakoski was let go in November, after the group fell behind its financial targets. 

A maximum of 50 staff will be cut in Finland, with 35 employees going in Sweden. Talks are also underway with workers at the group's Rajamäki plant regarding the use of flexible working arrangements.

Tennilä added:  “Unfortunately, we are compelled to take measures that will affect Altia’s personnel in order to secure the company’s future.”

The efficency programme will run alongside a new group strategy focussing on strengthening its core brands, investing in product development and “renewing” its sales channel focus, Altia said. 

The company currently employs around 1,000 staff across six countries.