SodaStream says the sites are being closed for "commercial reasons"

SodaStream says the sites are being closed for "commercial reasons"

SodaStream International has confirmed it is shutting two of its facilities - including its controversial site in the West Bank  - as it targets efficiencies. 

The Israel-headquartered group plans to close its Mishor Adumim and Alon Tavor facilities, which will bring an initial exceptional cost of US$20m, including redundancy pay for affected workers. The operations will be transferred in stages to its Lehavim plant, in Israel, with the move due to complete by “late 2015”.

The Mishor Adumim site has been controversial because it is in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian activists have reportedly welcomed SodaStream's decision to close the facility

However, a SodaStream spokesperson insisted the decision was “purely commercial”. 

“While the Mishor facility served us well until this time, our business needs have evolved in terms of capacity and complexity so that we are now operating out of six sites in Israel alone,” the spokesperson added. 

“During... explosive growth, our costs have increased and our profitability has eroded. Therefore, time has now come to make the change to a single state-of-the-art facility that will be our flagship site globally.” 

The move is part of a new growth plan unveiled by SodaStream yesterday after it reported a halving of nine-month net profits. CEO Daniel Birnbaum later told analysts the company will focus on promoting flavoured water in a bid to revive its fortunes.