Flint Group plans Dundee plant closure; 117 jobs at risk

By Sarah Cosgrove, Wednesday 13 January 2016

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Flint Group is planning to close its Dundee plant and move all manufacturing to the US in response to the "irreversible decline" in printed publications.


Flint is considering moving all offset blanket manufacturing to the US

The Luxembourg-headquartered global media supplier is due to consult with all 117 staff at its one Transfer Media production site in the UK, one of three worldwide. It said consolidation was “vital in light of the rapidly declining market" and excess capacity. The site saw an operating loss in 2015 of more than £1m.

The company said the site was experiencing significant and worsening financial losses as a result of the irreversible decline in demand for printed newspapers, magazines and other publications, and the rise of digital. 

The other two sites are in the US. Flint Group said the Dundee site, which produces printing consumables for customers across Europe, had significantly higher energy and raw materials costs. It is considering establishing one central production hub in the US that would bring together the technology, supply chain and operations teams for its entire customer base.

Dundee operations manager David Wood said; “We’re extremely disappointed to have to make this announcement, especially since our team in Dundee has worked so hard to improve our cost and delivery performance. 

“The structural changes in the marketplace are clearly irreversible and demand for our products is falling fast as digital innovations continue to drive people away from print media. When these market trends are combined with a site financial operating loss in 2015 of over £1m regretfully it is clear that we must address this excess capacity.” 

The company is now due to consult with staff for a minimum of 45 days. 

Vice president and general manager of Flint Group’s Print Media Europe division Tony Lord said: “Communication and consultation with our employees and their representatives will now be a key priority during this difficult time. A further announcement will be made at the end of the consultation period.” 

We want to reassure our customers that despite the current consultation period about to start in Dundee, our supply chain will continue to run as normal and there will be no negative impact on existing or new orders. We remain totally committed to delivering first-class products within our standard European lead times.” 

Flint Group flagged up the rising price of raw materials used in its inks and coatings in September 2014. Soon after it announced a 5% rise in its offset ink prices, which came into effect in January 2015. 

In November it announced its takeover, confirmed on 29 December, of Xeikon, XBC BV. It plans to use the press and consumables manufacturer as the basis of a new digital division.

Worldwide Flint Group employs around 6,800 people and recorded sales of €2.1bn in 2014. According to the company, it is either the top or number two supplier in every major market segment it serves.







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