The Edrington Group to cut 23 jobs in efficiency drive

The Edrington Group to cut 23 jobs in efficiency drive

The Edrington Group plans to invest GBP10m (US$15.8m) on a high-speed bottling line and new storage facilities for its Scotch whisky in a move that will result in 23 job losses.

Edrington said late last week that it had begun installing 33 new whisky vats at its main site in Glasgow. The firm also plans to bring in a bottling line capable of producing 150 bottles of whisky per minute, two-and-a-half times faster than the two lines it will replace at the Glasgow site.

The storage vats, which should be operational by summer 2011, are set to be followed by new warehouse facilities on the same site, Edrington said.

Its investment plan is expected to lead to 23 job losses from the Glasgow site's 450-strong workforce by December 2011. The Famous Grouse and Highland Park Scotch whisky distiller said that it was consulting with staff on the changes and was confident that it could achieve its aims "through natural wastage, early retirements and voluntary redundancies".

Edrington, which has invested over GBP37m in its Scottish operations in the last five years, said its new vats will be "faster and more flexible than existing facilities and improve operational safety".

Its new bottling line will be primarily for high-end Macallan and Highland Park whiskies. "The line will include the latest camera inspection technology to enhance product quality, making Edrington better placed to meet demanding customer requirements in growth markets such as Asia," said the firm.

Last week, Edrington announced three appointments to the team that will lead its newly-acquired Cutty Sark whisky brand. Earlier this month, the firm reported double digit rises in turnover and profit before tax for its full year.